Dangling

Dangling… for some reason the word dangling came into my mind as I was drifting off to sleep, and I dozily thought that I was in a way dangling between consciousness and that other world of sleep where strange things happen, and I’m not always me as I usually know myself. I could almost see myself as a tiny figure hanging on to or attached to a line or chain, gently spinning as I was lowered or as I descended. It was horrible, frightening or unpleasant, it was just what I saw – in the way a mind sees things.

Despite the strange dreams I had which as usual I can’t remember, that image has persisted today, and for some reason it somehow connected to my continued search to find a way of telling my life story. Maybe I had those images/dreams last night because I’d been talking to one of my oldest and closest friends about a pivotal and very happy and lucky time of my life, reminiscing, remembering, laughing, puzzling, wondering about people we’d known and things which had happened.

My favourite on-line word reference site, https://www.etymonline.com/ says this about dangle:

1590s, intransitive, “hang loosely, be suspended so as to sway in the wind,” probably from Scandinavian (compare Danish dangle, Swedish dangla “to swing about,” Norwegian dangla), perhaps via North Frisian dangeln. Transitive sense of “carry suspended so as to swing or sway” is from 1610s. 

Like many people I’ve had my DNA analysed by one of the many on-line genealogical sites, and it’s continually being updated. The only firm family history I knew before that was that one part of my family comes from East Anglia, another part has always as far as we know lived along the southeast  coast, and another part is Jewish. What did my DNA analysis add? Well, unsurprisingly a big chunk is England & Northwestern Europe, and roughly equal chunks are Jewish and Norwegian. To be honest, the Norwegian was a semi-surprise as an all-purpose Scandinavian tag had been attached previously; family legend had always said we had Scandinavian ancestry. I mention this very randomly in connection to what I started writing about as ‘dangle’ comes from the Norwegian, and so do some of my ancestors.

Back to dangling, and me dangling. I had a strange thought today (not unusual, I have a lot of strange thoughts) that a life is a connection of incidents and thoughts and things done or things which happen or which happen to you or are done by you; there are memories, some may be true, some may be muddled, imaginings, dreams which persist, and all is like a chain or thread or a journey. To be honest, I’m not quite sure where I am going with this dangling thought, it will probably dangle some more, and then very well might blow away like a spider’s thread of web. However, it might be a way of me at last getting to grips with writing about my life… or maybe not, of course…

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