Friday, January 6, 2012

In the Pink

If I say I am starting the new year off "in the pink," I mean it more literally than an expression enclosed by quotation marks might suggest. And, while I am enormously healthy, I probably don't mean "in the pink" as in perfect physical condition, though I do start my Stretch & Tone class again soon, as I can't swim laps outdoors now and walks will become less frequent as winter progresses, though I took one on the trail yesterday and will walk into town today.* This gentle fitness class is a gift from my mom, and she'll be in it, too! Thanks, Mom!

By "in the pink," I mean I have been surrounded by pink at dusk and dawn the past few days, glorious pink. Last night the pink surrendered completely to blue fairly quickly, but the night before it was like living in a world of pink for some time, yes, a sustainable pink. This morning, on the brink of post-holiday nostalgic despair while driving my daughter back to school, I was a Jonah inside a pale blue whale with ribs of pink.

Sometimes when I use a particular expression, I remember asking my mom, "What does that mean?" Those wonderful moments of childhood confusion and delight return. I remember asking my mom, "What are whores  devores?' and her asking to see the exact place in the book I was reading. Yes, they were hors d'oeuvres, and if I could graze on a steady diet of not-too-rich hors d'oeuvres, I probably would. Hoping they'd keep me in the pink.

These days I can Google a phrase, to learn more about its meaning and origins, as I did with "in the pink," finding this delightful article on its history and this fashion website. I am unlikely either to shop in the pink or to hunt foxes (also, we learn, an unlikely origin of the phrase, as the fox hunting jackets were scarlet and the tailor Thomas Pink might not have existed), but I am very likely to see pinks in my garden again come spring and was delighted to learn (or re-learn) that the name Pinks relates perhaps to color, perhaps to the "pinked" (as in pinking shears) edges, and to the Dutch name for these pink Dianthus flowers, "'pink-ooghen'--'little eye' (literally--to blink)." (And I am glad the flower connection is "to blink" and not pink-eye, or conjunctivitis.)

The other place I go regularly to learn about word origins is the Con-fessions of Ignorance blog, where a fine discussion of trifles is ongoing! Yes, this is the same excellent person who once thought I had called her a Versatile Slattern!

*And I was urged out of doors yesterday not only by the fine winter weather (40s, 50s, and today maybe even a high of 60!) but also by the blog & walks of poet Carol Berg, who has lovely poems up in the new issue of IthacaLit, which, she says, she found thanks to me! Yay! Ah! And her blog background, you'll notice, is pink!

4 comments:

Hannah Stephenson said...

Pink skies here in the mornings, too! And curiously warm...nice but worrisome.

Kathleen said...

Worrisome, re: global warming, Hannah?

Carol said...

Gorgeous descriptions of the pink-ness you are lucky to be seeing. Happy Walking!
And thanks for the shout-out, too!

Kathleen said...

My pleasure, Carol!