My guest this week is Danny Boy. Danny Boy was asked to define Blithe.
BLITHE, adj. From the Old English bliþe, “joyous or kind” and cognate with the Old Saxon bliði "bright, happy," and the Old Norse bliðr "mild, gentle." There are no cognates outside the proto-germanic family.
A personality type characterized by lightness of spirit and an easygoing nature, often erroneously associated with being harmless, or blameless.
Blithe individuals are quickly judged by others, and may alternately be seen as:
These varying opinions can unerringly root out the true personality type of the observer. For instance, a self-professed curmudgeon who is charmed by a blithe spirit is undoubtedly a closet romantic.
About Danny Boy: Danny has no blog that I know of. He does, however, have a past. Danny and I were classmates at Deep Springs College from June, 1985 until June 1987, two among twelve. Stephen, Danny's best friend in those years once referred to Dan's "blithe, bearded spirit," a phrase that captured Dan's personality so perfectly that twenty years after first looking up the word blithe there's no other word I could have assigned him.Except, maybe, bearded but a word like that can quickly go wrong.
In theory, I could use this space to tell embarrassing stories about Dan's late teens but I have, in fact, nothing on him and the converse is not the case so let's just say Dan is a good man: honest, wise and true. Maybe overwise, if anything. Dan came to Deep Springs having been a page in the U.S. Senate, which explains a lot, and a singer with a voice of gold, a silver ear and a rusty sense of propriety. A memory I have is sitting in a classroom where a guest lecturer, Giuseppi Mazzota of Florence, was discussing the verses in Dante's Inferno that describe Paolo and Francesca, flitting obliviously through hell aware only of their passion for each other, while Dan walked right outside the open classroom window crooning a cantata at full volume. "Dan's both in one" was the immediate thought.
Dan and I spent two terms together responsible for the college's milk cows and got along grandly as perfect opposites tend to do. Dan came to Deep Springs smart, well-read, intellectual, political, thoughtful, bearded and half-right about his orientation. His refinement can be seen in two entrance essays I stole photos of from his file last weekend, at right. These essays were about Alice Walker's The Color Purple and the death of Mark Rothko. I think the equivalents in my folder were entitled "Blade Runner: Fact or Fiction?" and "Why I may as well go to an all-male school." Deep Springs wasn't as selective back then as it is now and at 17 I was already furry enough for the plow.
Thanks to Dan for two decades of friendship, for a wily guest post, for voting with the minority (I think) on the Student Body motion to censure me and for guarding your tongue in the comments below.
How to be a guest on this site: To be anointed, I will need your email address and permission. So, were you to send an email to dpascover at mac dot com and say in the subject line something like "OK, ok I'll do it," that would definitely work unless I thought it was spam and deleted it. On an upcoming Wednesday, after posting that week's guest I would then send you an email with a word not in The Devil's Dictionary which you could then spend the next three days writing a definition for and return to me with a graphic or two of your choosing. The only rules are no profanity, no novels and anything else I make up. If you've done this before, I may ask you again if you're around a lot. If you've done this before and not been heard from since, just let me know that you want to be a guest and then disappear again.