Let’s get this straight…when I refer to “u”, I mean the letter and not that I have devolved into some a slacker texter.
I love “u”. Perhaps not as much as Melissa Etheridge might on Sesame Street, but I do nonetheless.
This appreciation became evident this evening as I watched my daughter draw my likeness. I’m happy to say that my smile (and not the frown that all parents secretly fear that their children will draw) was a perfect, huge U. We discussed the fact that my smile looked like the letter, which devolved into a pretty funny conversation; me saying I like “u”, her saying that she doesn’t just like me, she loves me and so on (“who’s on first, anyone”?)
So…why do I love “u”? Likely because it physically represents a 180 degree change in direction. (BTW, pet peeve # 57 for me…people who say “360 degree change” when they mean “180”). Think about U-turns (and the centrifugal force in your chest and spirits you feel when you do one mindfully and skillfully)…and then think about language. I find it very cool that by doing a simple 180 on the meaning of words by adding un- as a prefix, many have more power than they had in their (no pun intended) unaltered form: uncanny, unrequited, unadulterated, unbridled, unalienable, unfettered, unabashed etc. We rarely use these terms in their original form...so much less interesting.
Change can happen. Shifts can happen. But they are usually mindfully, skillfully executed. There’s effort in redirection, to be sure…but when it all comes together, what a rush.
And finally…add a “p” to and you get “up”. Could there be a more purely beautiful word than that?