A parsimonious silhouette, Etienne de Silhouette and the mirror.

Imagine if etymology were as popular as Facebook! Though not nearly as kitch - the history of words is an interesting novelty. As sociological phenomenon, etymology is reflective of so much that emerges from culture. I have heard it said that the winner writes the history books. Perhaps the social architects and puppet masters write the dictionaries.

While ironing this week (dry cleaning is environmentally unsound, but more importantly - expensive), I heard a piece on NPR. It centered on the etymology of the word "silhouette." It sounds French, doesn't it? And it is. Interestingly, Messr Silhouette was a progressive French governmental type who played a significant role in the implementation of various social programs unpopular among the bourgeois. Much like another more modern historical figure. There is some speculation that Etienne de Silhouette's policies left the wealthy lighter in their pockets - and therefore, mere shadows of their former selves.

Another possible association is that his name was adopted as a less than complimentary gesture stemming from his affinity for thrifty "silhouette" type portraits.

Even those who achieve greatness seem to at some point fade to silhouette. I sometimes question what has happened to my drive. Is it a silhouette of the drive that I experienced in past years. And whether in order to avoid personal silhouette we must always be striving for something. But what and how much. It then occurs to me that much like each of us - the silhouette cast is governed by the direction of the sun and the direction we are facing. And that with growth our vantage point must necessarily change.


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