This week’s Pause is a word beginning with “B”. Some of the words I considered were balance, beatitude, benison, being, boundary, belligerence, and bliss. The b-word I’ve chosen combines an “A” word I especially like with a “B” word my husband uses frequently while scanning the beach: BODACITY.
In a standard dictionary, “bodacity” may not always be listed. Its claim to fame was Kung Fu Panda. Most word detectives shun the idea of “bodacity” as a verified word; however, I’d like to be audaciously bodacious in claiming it as creatively accurate for the purpose of this blog. How else do words like audacity and bodacious become cross-bred from words containing the slight differences of meaning to a combination more brilliant than either alone? In today’s world, “bodacity” is wanted, needed, appreciated and venerated. Just as passionately, it is scorned,  admonished, and judged. “Bodacity” is required for radical transformation. When old methods no longer modify a broken status quo, an exploration of other transformative options is necessary. “Bodacity” is the biggest, boldest, loudest forum for protest, petition, enrollment, refinement, and reform.
The dictionary defines audacity as a willingness to take bold risks. Audacity is also defined as rudeness, impudence, disrespect. A two-sided coin, the word itself can be a grand action or a deplorable judgment. Audacity walks the fine line between favor and disrepute, rather like an unpredictable relative at a formal family event.
Bodacious means unrestrained and audacious in a way that I find admirable. It also means excellent and attractive. I would say bodacious is the preferred definition of audacity from a positive, grand action view. The person who is bold in an acceptable way can be bodacious. As slang, (like Gerry’s bodacious beach remarks), this word is used; however, in this context, it doesn’t apply.
The reason I like the word “bodacity” is that the impudence, the loud side of audacity when married to the freedom and awesome excellence of the” bigger than life” bodacious inspires calls for marches, petitions, protests, community formation, reformation, revolution, group movements—all of which inspire our collective closer to what brings possibility, peace, progress and open doors: freedom. Practicing “bodacity” blesses me with authenticity, comradery, honesty and a voice to express, be heard, and move forward reform, renovation, restoration and rejuvenation. Bodacity connects as much as it fragments the collective. Often it initiates fractions and fissures before the broken pieces align into a patched restoration of wounds, slights, celebrations, and healing.
Some made up words like “fortuosity” (The Happiest Millionaire) and “supercalifragilistic” (Mary Poppins) stick with me when I maneuver exuberantly and confidently through life. “Bodacity” is an attitude I adopt and embrace as I purvey with angst the nightmares fostered by the leadership of our divided country. We need audacious, bodacious being and doing to bring healing to ourselves, our country, our world. It may not be easy to step out of our cozy, small-world comfort zone into radical “bodacity”, and yet, if we don’t, who will? We’re in this together, and we don’t go home until we all go home.

I go to my mat to do yoga regularly because I show up for myself. Where are we showing up for each other, our world? Whatever our “more or less justifiable beliefs”, may we be one in our bodacity.


Audaciously, bodaciously yours,


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