Epizeugma (ep-i-zoog’-ma): Placing the verb that holds together the entire sentence (made up of multiple parts that depend upon that verb) either at the very beginning or the very ending of that sentence.

Hope and fear, noise and silence, life and death, heaven and earth, old and young and countless other contraries marking the changes that make life meaningful. For it is the oppositions that provide us with a sense of where we are—always somewhere between them, their proximity provides us with meaning.

As soon as one pronounces oneself to be young, one has begun to voyage toward getting older, and being old. And when one pronounces oneself old, one begins to think of death—maybe like a toy balloon floating away across the sky and disappearing, or a more grim image of what the end is like: imps with glowing branding irons searing your flesh. But having that word—“death”—enables one to contemplate the end on of one’s life without having to experience it. This is a blessing or a curse: it can be anything one may imagine it to be (balloons or imps), for better and for worse.

Although we are all on the same trajectory, we are at different stages along the way. But, we are all alive, traversing the tangible world—what is present to our senses; what may divert our imaginations from what is impossible to know and resides solely in faith, to a yummy cheeseburger, a martini, or a drive to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of bread. This isn’t to say that all of the hellish prospects conjured by your imagination are not actually operative here on earth. It’s a question of dwelling—the house you build in your head, and your willingness to accommodate bad tenants.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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