"Priscilla!" I yelled into the store, "I am brain dead in here." Our friend Priscilla is the matron of moderation around Twin Rocks Trading Post. She is never caustic or too rushed, she is, simply, sweetly somehow. Priscilla walked over to my door, leaned on the threshold and said, "Just write somehow." "What do you mean by that?" I queried. "You know,” she said, "do it like you did it every other time; do it somehow." I thought about what Priscilla was telling me and mentally replayed my encounters with Danny and Steve. There had been a tidbit of inspiration in our interactions after all. Locally inspired conversational dialog, as it turns out, was the key to focusing my muddled mind.
Testing my memory, I tried to discover the first time I heard the word "somehow" in dialectal context. As far as I can recall, it was in the mid 1970s, during my years at San Juan High School. Some friends and I were between classes when we noticed a couple Native boys pushing each other around and cussing in a fashion sure to culminate in a fistfight. As kids do, we stopped off to see the show and wager on the outcome. During the shove fest, one of the boys thrust the other away and hollered, "You were talking to my girlfriend, somehow!" The other boy returned the favor and yelped, "She was talking to me, and we are just, somehow." About that time a teacher came around and broke-up the courtship conflict. The boys seemed to have adequately expressed their frustrations, and in no time were buddies again. My friends and I were hooked, and began to use "somehow" at every opportunity.
|Navajo Tree of Life Pictorial Rug - Marie Begay (#03) –This Rug Is Simply Somehow–|
"Somehow" can be very useful in many ways. For instance, in close personal relationships one can use it in to avoid over-exaggerating a sensitive subject. Having previously expressed your concern, and discovering the situation has not yet been resolved, a backdoor apology such as: "Oh honey, I regret, I was just so somehow," might prove useful. I have often seen young, passionate Native couples fawning over each other and using "somehow" in the context of beautiful, sexy, elegant, exhilarating or magnificent. I warn those of you who have a partner uninitiated into the subtitles of the word not to try it on your mate unless they are Rez-wise. I once looked lovingly into Laurie's blue/green eyes and said, "Oh honey you are so somehow." She took it as sarcasm and I wound-up sleeping on the La-Z-Boy sofa several nights.
World English Dictionary; some·how [suhm-hou] adverb 1. in some way not specified, apparent, or known. Idioms, 2. Somehow or other, in an undetermined way; by any means possible. She was determined to finish college somehow or other. Origin 1655-65; some plus how
Twin Rocks Colloquial Dictionary; somehow [sum-howe] adverb or otherwise 1. in all ways not specified but, mostly known. 2. An all encompassing word to explain what cannot be easily explained or described. He/she was determined to finish college but he/she is somehow. Could mean anything and/or everything of consequence. All parties in on the conversation would understand, mostly. Origin 1970 plus or minus a few; some plus how.
Somehow I have found inspiration, somehow.
With warm regards,
Barry and the team; Steve, Priscilla and Danny.