Fundamentally splendid

Prose generally starts with a definitive statement, such as:

She was splendid, fundamentally.

In this case, however, the prose was shot through with poetical brick-a-brack. For example: They were going to the sun for his sake. For his sake, they were going to the sun. Nothing useful, just evocative.

Which immediately brings up for the reader of Prose the image of He and She sitting in a travel agency in a cool dank climate somewhere – let’s call it Vancouver, just for the sake of calling it something – pouring over travel brochures for tours to the Sun.

Not A Sun, The Sun. The Sun around which we dance and flirt, around which we write over and over and over again articles about sun dogs, meteor showers, and the gradual destruction of life on this particular planet via the unavoidably catastrophic cataclysmic collision of Earth, our Mother, and Sun, our Father, in a conflagration often predicted and yet utterly unexpected when it finally turns us all into hot molten lava sundaes in a dish of planet flambé. With sprinkles.

 However. She was splendid, fundamentally. What does fundament mean, exactly? Or  splendid?

Fundament: late 13c., “buttocks, anus,” from O.Fr. fondement “foundation, bottom; anus” (12c.), from L. fundamentum “a foundation,” from fundare “to found”. So called because it is where one sits. Fundamental: The “primary principles or rules” of anything, from 1630s.

 Alle þe filþ of his magh [‘maw’] salle breste out atte his fondament for drede. [“Cursor Mundi,” early 14c.]

Splendid: 1620s, from splendere “be bright, shine, gleam, glisten,” from PIE *(s)plend- “bright” (cf, Lith. splendziu “I shine,” M.Ir. lainn “bright”). An earlier form was splendent (late 15c.).

To reiterate:

She was fundamentally splendid. She was the seat of good or moral principles from the 1650s. She circled the sun, the same sun about which we write over and over. She sat watching on the screen as the Earth and Sun collided, inevitably. She dissolved into the melting sprinkles, licked the molten lava off her burning fingertips, and she smiled. She was fundamentally splendid.



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