Can You Feel It

I was reminded of a word I’ve rarely seen in use, but have known for quite time now Duende.

At its most basic definition, duende is used to describe a mythical, sprite like entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature.

“Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it. A flower is beautiful. But this is beautiful the way that a person is beautiful – terrifying with its jagged edges, yet seductive with its crevices that hide so many secrets.”

The author of the above spoke of the Grand Canyon. Suffice it to say that moment was duende in the traditional sense.

Like most such words duende’s meaning has evolved over time and now mostly refers to the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.

The phrase “work of art” loosely infers painting and sculpture. I would like to expand that definition to also include the use of words – written, spoken or sung. Have even read a poem or a passage in a novel that gave you pause? Heard a song, lyrical or instrumental, that moved you deeply?


To those of you who know, and like I cannot resist, the drum solo of Phil Collins “In the Air” that pull you feel in your core
— when you hear those opening notes?
— that make you stop everything and raise your imaginary drum sticks in anticipation?
— and even if it’s only in your mind, that pull you feel before you let loose…?

That’s Duende darlings, in its modern sense.

When you feel it to your core, when it makes you stop

Stop to look, stop to hear, stop to touch, and if the work of art is food, stop to smell and taste it.  When it makes time, and you, stop – it’s duende.

So I task you with this today, that which moves you, natural or man-made – go find it. Spend a few moments to feel it to your core and just enjoy it.


Day 30 – the next to the last day of this challenge – let’s see how my fellow slicers are faring through it….


4 thoughts on “Can You Feel It

  1. This is the second time in a couple weeks that someone has used the word “duende”. The last one was at a poetry workshop with Ellen Bass. I had never heard the word before, but now I love it. I think we can broaden the definition for our modern world.

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