Thursday, February 17, 2011

Open letter to the word "indefatigable."

Dear the word "indefatigable,"

I just spelled you for my husband, the historian, who is copy-editing a manuscript he has worked on for many, many years, because it is about to be published. There's a certain justice to that. He has worked without fail, without complaint, and with great dedication on that manuscript. He spent countless hours in archives, looking at microfiche, and then scouring old newspapers online for mention of socialists, anarchists, and other assorted radicals in the back hallways and alcoves of Utah history. He is an exemplum of you, the word "indefatigable." In the dictionary by your entry, the picture is of him. I'm just guessing.

Apparently, the word "indefatigable," it was about the 17th century when people started to to experience tirelessness, wearilessness. It might have coincided with the rise of coffee-drinking in Europe, which also coincided, roughly, with the rise of capitalism, and that nexus of coincidences, the word "indefatigable," is the crux of my small disagreement with you.

We are not machines, the word "indefatigable." We are only human. We come home from a day of meetings and workshops and online grading and ordinary fretting, a week of e-mails and worries and small stray dogs, and we feel weary. We feel, rather than indefatigable, tired, flagging, weary and exhaustible.

I admire you, the word "indefatigable." And I admire what you stand for. I like your energy. Most days, I resemble you quite a bit. You are my target, my goal and my guide. But tonight I am tired. I have descended and I have reclined. I am on my bed and I am watching television. The word "indefatigable," I will speak to you tomorrow, but for tonight, let's call it a day.




  1. If I were 16, I would say to you now "I heart you."

  2. Here's to fatiguablility!

  3. You are a genius.

  4. I cannot wait for his book.

  5. fatiguability--that is where I am right now!

  6. I'm with Renaissance Girl here. In fact, I'm gonna say it. I heart you very much.



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