Brisance n.

The shattering effect of the sudden release of energy in an explosion.

While this word is clearly based in science and physics, there’s a bit of poetry surrounding it. Since it comes from French, it has an elegance in the pronunciation that belies its destructive meaning.

I am no scientist (far from it), but I can appreciate this word, and find myself wanting to utilize it to describe moments in my life that felt explosive; those moments that incite great change.

One obvious example is my move to Utah for college. I received a letter stating I was able to attend, and within three whirlwind days, I found myself knocking on the door of my dorm room. I also remember when I got the call that my friend Irma had been killed. The frenetic energy that surrounded my life for the following months took me to Missouri for her memorial and New Zealand to find peace and healing. Most recently, the end of my relationship ignited a powder keg of dormant emotions, and created the brisance to call deep on my courage, reach out to my network of friends, and make the most of my life. This release of energy is necessary, though it may shatter our confidence in ourselves, the brisance of these life-changing incidents unearths new territory for us to explore so that we can make meaning of our existence.

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This entry was published on March 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm. It’s filed under 30 New Words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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