Oh, boy. This word. I know what it’s supposed to inspire. Awaken to the world. Don’t sleepwalk through life. Get in touch with the spiritual. It’s meant to be a sunrise word, another way of saying, be a light. Be awake. Be aware.
But me, I see awaken, I think of Old Gods, dark arcane arts, and dire events meant to be enunciated with capital letters. As in “Awakening That Which Should Never Be Named.”
Maybe I ought to head these posts with some kind of disclaimer. “Personal opinion, not necessarily inspiring?” I don’t mean to harsh the mood, but I have read too much speculative fiction in my life to ever look at awaken and think of anything other than dread and disaster. Awakenings seldom go well.
Awaken takes me back to first reading Poe, to feeling shivers as I read about protagonists wrestling with evil forces they could neither control nor understand. I read too much speculative fiction to look at the word awaken and feel anything but dread.
The genre currently called horror is too bloody, too concerned with shock value and body counts to appeal to me. But back in the days of Lovecraft (hiss, boo, prose genius, awful human being) not to mention Lord Dunsany, August Derleth, Robert E Howard, et al, horror was a feeling to evoke. They even built new words to make their prose creepier, and they were inventive about making the mundane and the magical equally laden with doom.
Their stories were delicious reads, layered and rich and founded in a tremendously bleak view of human nature. They were memorable too.
And so awaken is a word wrapped in associations of overreaching pride and destruction. Don’t poke the bear. Let sleeping dogs lie. And for the love of Robert Bloch, don’t open that Tome of Ancient Lore.
And besides, how do we even know whether we are awake or asleep? Alas, those thoughts would require a whole ‘nother post.
Click here to see the original & beautiful global #AdventWord event/calendar I’m bending to my bloggish purposes: AdventWord
Image credit Supra1980 via Pixabay.com