January 24, 2018

Lissome Lean into Lambent Laughter

Guest Post

James HollisDr. James Hollis, a Jungian analyst, has written 14 books and travels widely to speak. He is scheduled to be in Charlotte on September 29-30, 2017, where he has spoken at the Jungian society in recent years. For more on him and his work, go to: https://www.jameshollis.net/. I sent Hollis my blog posted in July, Hortatory Humor (available below on this page), which focuses on a paragraph in one of his books. He responded to my email: “You are the only one who has ever commented on the alliterative fun….in all these years. Most of the time people complain because of the vocabulary and I feel they should thank me because each new word opens a new world. That is how I have always looked at it, and I can see you do also. It is of course fun, and I am glad you joined the fun. It is a fine blog and when it runs, let me know and I will send something.” What he sent is below, dashed off within an hour of an email exchange. My thoughts on his lissome lean follow his remarks.

Following Finger’s felicitous foray into fine fun in his blog on Hortatory Humor, I offer a few reflections on wringing ringing prose from the possibly pretentious or prosaic prospects of one’s perspicacious perceptions.

As we approach the tenuous task of thinking through the attenuated tendrils of our troubled time, we sometimes stumble onto a soft susurrus of sense which can prove either somnambulant or stir a perilous precipitation of anomie and autophagous angst.   It’s the tintinnabulation of the tangled threads of memory that morph meaningfully from the refractory reconstruction of recent mordent and nugatory nudges into nonsense or gnostic revelation.

Falling as we do into frequent forms of fatal fragmentation, we nonetheless find redemptive humor in the humble human capacity to create reagents of reformation and relief in this languid but lissome lean into lambent laughter.

In three short paragraphs above, Hollis leads us through a vast and versant verbal territory, and “each new word opens a new world,” as he put it in his email to me. With my amateurish aligning of alliteration with audacious authoring, I tried to wiggle my way into the waves that link laughter with love (read Hortatory). Hollis has thought through our tenuous times, and leads us quickly into our anomie and autophagous angst. (I thought I knew anomie but was wrong; check it if you’re not sure – its meaning magnifies the message.)

 My wife enjoys remembering her Latin when challenging vocabulary arrives at the breakfast table, as the Brother Hollis prose did a few days ago. She expertly worked her iPhone as we raced through susurrus, autophagous, nugatory (I was wrong on that one too), and tintinnabulation to be sure about that second paragraph. A check on gnostic, which I thought I knew, revealed that real revelation. The final paragraph brings us hope though. Yes, I needed help to be sure on languid (embarrassed on that one), lissome (less self-conscious here), and lambent (glowing proud on this one). Thank you, Brother Hollis for opening new worlds and helping me to embrace the delicious daily delicacy of a lissome lean into lambent laughter.


  1. I’ve read and benefited from Dr. Hollis’s work for years and have attended some of his programs at the Jung Center of Houston. I’ve unwillingly learned several new words from his books, some day I hope to use them lol.

    Steve P
    Austin, TX