(adj.) Old English wis “learned, sagacious, cunning; sane; prudent, discreet; experienced; having the power of discerning and judging rightly,” from Proto-Germanic *wissaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian wis, Old Norse viss, Dutch wijs, German weise “wise”), from past participle adjective *wittos of PIE root *weid- “to see,” hence “to know” (see vision). Modern slang meaning “aware, cunning” first attested 1896. Related to the source of Old English witan “to know, wit.”
(n.) “way of proceeding, manner,” Old English wise “way, fashion, custom, habit, manner; condition, state, circumstance,” from Proto-Germanic *wison “appearance, form, manner” (see wise (adj.)). Compare Old Saxon wisa, Old Frisian wis, Danish vis, Middle Dutch wise, Dutch wijs, Old High German wisa, German Weise “way, manner.” For sense evolution from “to see” to “way of proceeding,” compare cognate Greek eidos “form, shape, kind,” also “course of action.” Ground sense is “to see/know the way.”
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost
This will be a blog about becoming Other-wise: learning to see in a manner different from that dictated by monoculture and authority, taking the less-traveled, crooked path, gaining wisdom of and from the Other side.
From a new way of seeing comes a new kind of knowing; from a new kind of knowing, a new way of being unfolds.