Capturing a Moment of Magnificence

Tuesday’s post this week is a delayed Monday post. I’m not quite sure what happened yesterday. The exams were finally over – not my exams, but my daughter’s. So she arrived home at 11.30 after the last one was over, tired, relieved and ready to chatter. And I read blogs, commented, replied to comments. Then wrote some fiction. Made some phone calls. It was that sort of day, what we in Scotland call “scuttery.” As in: I scuttered about making mess and not really getting anywhere. So a scuttery day is one when it feels as if you haven’t achieved much. Unless scattering papers over tables and writing beginnings of articles can count as achievement. Of course, really they can (at least the beginnings can) but at the end of a scuttery day we don’t feel that sense of achievement we so often crave.

I just decided to look the word up, and discovered that it can be a surname. Also, in Ireland scuttery can mean diarrhoea. That figures. Diarrhoea makes a lot of mess and by the end of a scuttery day, you do feel as exhausted as if you’d had it. But scutter also means to scurry about, and that’s the definition I was thinking of, particularly of scurrying about aimlessly, which is how scuttery days feel.

If only I’d taken the time to check out the theme for his week’s Creative Buzz Hop! It’s the perfect antidote to feelings of scutteriness:

Celebrating magnificence.

I’ve chosen to share a short paragraph, in which magnificence is found in the ordinary. 

Her hands are wrapped round her knees, so tight that her pale knuckles form peaks and valleys, as if  to mirror the mountains that loom in the darkness behind her. She gazes into the campfire, mesmerized by dancing flames. Pictures appear before her eyes, rising and falling. A face appears in the orange glow, and then flickers suddenly into the shape of a cat; a leaping horse becomes a lion. She watches intently, trying to catch an image before it fades and becomes something else, trying to capture the moment a flame changes from blue to white or orange to red.

Flames by arztsamui via Freedigital photos

If you want to read more posts in the Creative Buzz Hop or link up your own, click the button below:


  1. With your early description of “scuttery”, I thought I knew what it meant. I liked the word and it seems like I have many scuttery days. But then I got to this sentence:
    “Diarrhoea makes a lot of mess and by the end of a scuttery day, you do feel as exhausted as if you’d had it.”

    My heavens, that describes most of my days with the kids and animals! The realization makes me cringe and smile at the same time.

  2. Christine, I think with small children scuttery days are often the norm! In all meanings of the word. I was surprised to discover the Irish meaning, but it does all fit together. It is a very descriptive word isn’t it? And it’s fun to think it could now get used in Indiana!

    1. Thanks Michelle! And I guess that these moments don’t seem to last because they seem to different to the usual, and yet there is magnificence in the ordinary.

    1. Tamara, I used to love watching flames as a child. Still do sometimes, when we light candles. So I guess yes, she might feel overwhelmed.

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