When I was a kid, my two favorite breakfast cereals were Special K and something called Kix.
At the moment I am having trouble conjuring up the taste-memory of either of these. It has been over fourteen years since I’ve eaten breakfast cereal, that got dropped when I kicked sugar, yes kicked-with-a-K.
And even then I was living in Israel then where neither of those cereals were available, so it has probably been closer to twenty five years since I’ve tasted either of them.
I’m pretty much convinced though that Kix tastes like vaguely-sweetened crunchy dust. But the name! What a great name.
Even as a child I remember thinking that names were kind of magical. A name could make something seem more appealing than it was. Kix!
Kix! Let’s do it for kicks!
Special Agent K.
So I was at Rally (Rally!), my favorite place to be, if you can call Rally a place, which it isn’t, and it was Rally K in the Alphabet Carousel.
I noticed that I was feeling a little wary about K, because it seemed like there might not be a lot of good K words to play with.
It turns out there are the exact right amount of K words to play with, and not just because Nothing Is Wrong, but because the K words are extra-kicky, and they spread so much kicky joy that they carry you to wherever you need to go.
At Rally, we have cover stories and secret identities, and I said my name was Kay.
And then over the course of Rally it eventually became clear that oh right, of course, I am a secret agent, so I became Agent Kay, and then Special Agent K, which is how my mind became flooded with memories of Special K. And Kix. For kicks!
I learned some interesting things about being K/Kay.
Something fun about temporarily taking on a new identity is discovering how much you know that you didn’t know that you know.
I would have said that I know nothing about this Kay person.
And yet I immediately had the whole story:
My name is Kay. I’m a burlesque dancer and choreographer. I’m here to get better at tassel-twirling and to get over a choreography block. The superpower I have is that I love getting naked in front of people! And I have zero fear of commitment! This doesn’t mean I commit to things if I don’t want them, just that the act of committing doesn’t scare me.
So basically this Kay is nothing like me.
But because I got to be her for three and a half days, I got a feeling of the freedom that Kay knows about.
And I learned about how the other beautiful K words fit into this adventure. So here they are, because how could I not share them with you. For kicks!
I chose eight K words to make a compass.
North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, Northwest.
Each direction gets a K word, and then maybe some bonus words. For kicks!
And not just kicks, but HIGH KICKS.
High kicks are extra fun. And also I’m a burlesque choreographer, so why not.
High kicks. Hi, kicks.
I’m on a kick.
Here we go.
Key is a marvelous K-word. Key is North. North is key.
Lots of things are key. That itself was a key concept from Rally K. The more I pay attention, the more I notice how key the keys are.
Keys are good for Openings.
Keys are also good for Safety.
Keys are beautiful.
Locks are outrageously sexy.
Keys are always available, because any moment can be a door, and entry can happen anywhere.
King is a symbol. I put it at northeast.
King is my reminder that I am a sovereign being, and everyone I encounter is a sovereign being.
I am allowed to have my thoughts, my experience, my reactions, and they are allowed to have theirs.
I don’t get to tell other people what to do or how to feel. I make a point (this is key!) of not agreeing to other people telling me what to do or how to feel, and I certainly don’t have to listen if they try. I have choices.
King means (to me) wearing the crown. It means staying attuned to Kindness.
Kindness and Loving-Kindness are about presence.
Not about being kind because you think you should. Not about thinking other people are less than or more than.
Kindness is about taking a breath. Remembering that we all have our stuff and we’re all working on our stuff and it is a process.
Just this thought is kindness. Wishing people well is kindness. When I remember to say, “May this situation dissolve in love, may peacefulness prevail” instead of “Ugh the cheese shop next door is the worst”, this is me trying to practice kindness.
And kindness goes inward, not just outward.
I can extend kindness to all the Havis, past and future, at all ages and in all situations. It is a way of treasuring myself, taking care of myself.
The Knight is in the southeast, and the knight, like the king, is a symbol.
The knight is for bravery, courage, strength, doing the thing that needs doing. I am still going to do it in my own way and at my own pace, the knight is just a reminder that I have the strength I need.
The knight is for setting off on voyages, internal and external.
The knight has a silent K which makes him or her a special agent K.
I am silent and I am Kay, so I am also a Silent K!
South is for knocking, a word that always makes me think of Bryan. During Long, Slow and Deep, he talks about knocking for what seems like forever.
He says that when you are in a yoga pose that is stretching you, it is important to remember that you aren’t trying to make something happen. You aren’t barging down the door. You’re waiting for permission to come in.
These parts of you that you are trying to reach and get close to through yoga….you’re waiting patiently for them to let you in. And you knock to let them know you’re there.
Funny how much I like the word, given how much I hate hearing a knock on the door.
Whenever someone knocks on the door when I’m home, I hide until they go away. If it was someone I knew, they’d text me, so it is not someone I know and they should go away. And by hide, I mean: I drop to the floor and curl up in a ball and panic. Then I notice, and do what I can to calm myself, to soothe the pain of Tiny Havi who doesn’t know that now is now, not then.
I don’t have a clear sense of what the knocking triggers, just that my whole body is terrified.
As a concept though, when Bryan talks about knocking, I love that. It is gentle and sweet. It isn’t a surprise knocking, it is a welcome knocking. Hello friend who has been waiting for me, I am here. Hello sweet lover who has filled their home with flowers for me and is waiting for me to arrive.
Knocking says: Hello, beautiful door. Hello, moment of crossing through.
Knowing goes in the southwest.
So much beauty and grace in these moments of knowing.
Also in the moments of not-knowing, and recognizing how much is unknown. But even that is a deeper form of knowing.
Knowing comes from listening, it comes from my body, it comes from my heart, it comes from my mind, it comes from trees and gardens, and slightly wiser me. It is all the deeper internal intel that I choose to say yes to.
The quieter I get, the more I get to experience moments of Knowing.
This is where all the salves come from, all the qualities. This is how I figured out that Nothing Is Wrong, and that Smiling At The Broken Pots works better than cursing the breaking.
This is how I know when to turn left and when to turn right and when it doesn’t matter at all. Which is always, because everything recalibrates, just like the map that tells you where to go. That is another Knowing that I received from living in silence.
Kinetic is west.
Kinetic is, for me, one of those all-time sexy words. I can’t remember how or when it first came alive for me as a word. That is a lie. I remember. It was in a love letter, one of many beautiful letters exchanged with a far-away lover once upon a time.
Kinetic is alive. Kinetic is rushing water, passion, that moment right after the moment when everything tips. Kinetic is the kiss that arrives after the first one. The moment of laughing because you aren’t turning back. Kinetic is tearing off clothes and toppling into bed, and then the moment after that and after that.
Kiss is a beautiful word.
I don’t really have much more to say about it than that. I put it at southwest because all compasses should end with a kiss.
Actually I do have more to say about that. Kissing is — as far as I’m concerned — so completely and utterly the best thing in the entire world, and I feel strongly about this.
One time I was talking to a friend and she said that her marriage was perfect except that they never really kiss, because her husband doesn’t like kissing and isn’t good at it, and he doesn’t see the point. And she felt impossibly sad about this because she, like me, thinks that kissing is the best. But everything was “perfect”.
And — this is where we invoke the People Vary rule — I could not even grasp this concept. I wanted to say, RUN AWAY, GET OUT, GO CHANGE YOUR LIFE SO THAT IT CAN INCLUDE KISSING!
Except I didn’t. Her story is not my story, her life is not my life, I don’t get to know what is right for her, I don’t get to make her choices, I only get to make my own.
And I understand how very possible it is to think that having one thing you want means giving up the other thing so you give up the other thing. I have lived this so many times.
I am blowing a kiss right now to soothe this, because kisses are good for that too. Here is a kiss for trusting in all timing is right timing. Here is a kiss for love.
That is all the K words. Well, not all of them.
There are more wonderful K words. Like kookiness, a quality I happen to strongly identify with. Or kindred, like spirits. Keen. Knitting, as in: bringing things together. Koala is a wonderful K word. Kauai. Kaleidoscopes.
Kay likes all of these things, and so do I.
May it be so! And come play with me.
Thank you, letter K.
If you want to whisper words or sound effects that start with K, go for it.
If you want to share in any of the qualities and magical words I named here, you can.
They work like the salves in the Friday Chicken: just take some, there is always more.
Whispering loving spells that begin with K, for myself, and for anyone who wants…
I love this post so much! I got such a kick out of it! K might very well be my favorite letter, and I was dancing in my chair over all the K words. I am going to say this to myself a lot of times today: The Kinetic Special Agent Kaye.
Hmmm . . . all my phonic-K words right now actually begin with Q. Quinapalus; quinquerme; quince.
Apparently I want to eat perfumed fruit with a hypothetical author aboard a fourth century BC warship.
My name is Kathleen and I approve of this post.
Thinking about all my wonderful K people, my K in-laws and step-in-laws, and the huge loose-knit family (huge loose-knit jumpers are very warm, remember) that is the Kirbys. And K friends, and K colleagues.
And kingfishers and kookaburras and kangaroos.
Kingcups. Kings Cross, which is perhaps a key.
kakapo and kiwi (flightless birds of New Zealand)
key lime pie
kohlrabi in the kitchen
kudzu (Unlike most people, I like weeds)
sticklebacks love pickles / in the shapes of kangaroos
Yes, K is for Kathleen, and for Kat.
I also loved Special K as a kid, because it made *me* feel special.
I have never been to Kookamunga, or to Kalamazoo, or to Katmandu, but I am curious about these places.
And now, I think I’ll put the kettle on.
This is a wonderful, wonderful post. Thank you!
Krinkle, as in smiling eyes
Keep, as in safety and castles and trying and love
Adore this kaboodle of K words! Here’s some kale, kismet, a kinescope, a kindly kerfuffle, and and a kite …
Oh! And how could I forget Kazoo. And Kerouac. And Kaboom! Not to mention a favorite k word, even though it’s at the end … inK (as in inka-dinka-do). Did I mention that all this Letter Love really makes me smile?! Thanks, Havi & All the Lovely Commenters!!
My name starts with K and I LOVE this post!
This is a SuperPower I can get into: “I can extend kindness to all the (Karens), past and future, at all ages and in all situations. It is a way of treasuring myself, taking care of myself.”
Also, a salve…
I love this. K has always had a special place in my heart. I get excited every time I get to draw a K in a lettering project. When I was in third grade, “Kokomo” was my favorite song (and I knew even then how silly that was) because Kokomo has two Ks in it! Kangaroos and kudus make me smile. And I will forever have love in my heart for the British because they invented the term “Knickers.” My knickers get all in a lovely twist over that.
And reading what you said about Knocking was the perfect salve for me, because I run and hide when confronted with knocking, too. I have deep layers of Stuff about interruptions and unannounced visits—the same applies to incoming phone calls (except those from a special few trusted Kangaroos). Oh, the triggers. I even set up my ringtone for everyone but those special few to be the sound of a doorbell ringing. There was no Knocking ringtone, but the doorbell equals the same thing: someone entering my space, unannounced, when I’m not ready for it, and expecting me to drop everything and answer. Sometimes I run and hide from the phone, too. Hmm…all the noticings here.
So maybe I’ll spend this weekend in K Country (though maybe not call it that…since that was also the name of a terrible radio station I once knew), reading my old copy of “Kneeknock Rise” and dreaming of Kangaroos and Kokomo.
Wishing every happy K word to you all!
I love the alphabet posts so much. I wish I was in to right continent/hemisphere to get to Rally(Rally!).
Kindling, because lighting a fire is my metaphor for enthusiasm/will. Starting with tinder, then kindling, then then progressively larger bits of wood. My super-weakness (Kryptonite) is trying to apply white-knuckled willpower to big projects that I should have built up to gradually.
Blowing a Kiss to all.