The other day, I mentioned to a friend that I anticipate a busy May, what with sundry beloveds graduating and having birthdays, and visitors from far places, and the end of the academic year at my place of employ, and prime planting-out-the-vegetable-garden season upon me…
She said perhaps I am overwhelmed.
All of the above events are wonderful things. And I have considerable help in accomplishing them, so there are no great burdens on my shoulders. Overwhelmed sounds, well, overstated. That got me thinking about the words overwhelmed and its opposite, underwhelmed–is there a “whelmed,” just on its own?
Turns out there is (archaic, notes Merriam-Webster):
WHELM transitive verb
1. to turn (something, such as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something; cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect
2. to overcome in thought or feeling
intransitive verb to pass or go over something so as to bury or submerge it
And its source is Middle English (thank you, Online Etymology Dictionary):
early 14c., Middle English whelmen “to turn upside down”… Figurative sense of overwhelm as “to bring to ruin” is attested from 1520s.
Maybe I am whelmed, then, as per definition 2 above; the feeling I have doesn’t jive with the connotation of “to bring ruin.”
At any rate, I herewith offer some diversions by writers of other blogs and sites instead of my own work–with the exception of the first link on “Say It Today.” Read and explore and allow what’s delightful to wash over you without disastrous effect. 🙂
Brothers & Storytellers, a brief essay of gratitude at Say It Today
Lesley Wheeler’s delightful, on-the-spur-of-the-moment, Day 29 of National Poetry Month poem should amuse those who write poetry and those who meditate and…well, just fun.
Donna Vorreyer on writing “a whole lotta poems.”
Kelli Russell Agodon on writing a poem a day (and forgetting about quality).
Finally, Theodora Goss on love, home, and work–priorities that feel pretty “right” to me.