Apolytus is a word you may only find in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. This book written by John Koenig happens to be a favorite of mine. “It’s a compendium of new words for emotions. Its mission is to shine a light on the fundamental strangeness of being a human being – all the aches, demons, vibes, joys and urges that are humming in the background of everyday life.”
I can’t help but get a certain Zing! when I find one of these words that encapsulates a familiar strangeness and renders it poetic. . .meaning not just harmless but truly edifying, if you know what I mean.
So I’ve taken to occasionally opening the book at random and happening upon just the right one for the moment, and if I can, seeing what happens when I keep it in mind and start painting/collaging/writing.
noun: In the moment you realize you are changing as a person, finally outgrowing your old problems, like a reptile shedding its skin, already able to twist back around and chuckle at this weirdly antiquated caricature of yourself that will soon come off completely.
(From apolysis, the stage of molting when an invertebrate’s shell begins to separate from the skin beneath it. + adultus: sacrificed)
The bird molting into the double chalice
Twice the sacrifice of beak
Of the need to declare
I am this
I am that,
I am the one who, no more
Blessed be the no longer
Blessed be the moments of parting with
The one who has been looking back in the mirror
The toothless hairless one
The one whose stories are being set loose
On the wind
No longer hers
The head is dipping
The hat is toppling
The wing is spreading
The sun is setting
The mist is rising