Yoko meshi


Yoko meshi (noun) Origin: Japanese | The stress caused by speaking a foreign language.

Its hard translation is ‘boiled rice’ (meshi) and ‘horizontal (yoko) which will sort of mean as ‘a meal that’s eaten sideways’ — this metaphor actually refers to the fact that the Japanese write vertically instead of horizontally. Hence, the word yoko-meshi has a nice spin to it, doesn’t it?

An old topic for me.  I have nothing to add to this one-sided conversation except you should trust me when I say that I become super stressed when I have to speak in a foreign language professionally.  However, privately, learning bits of other languages has enhanced my life and travels to measures I cannot ever truly express.  The returns I have experienced by even knowing a few words in the language of the country I am visiting has caused laughs, misunderstandings, and deeper understandings and connections that have made my life so much better.  Connections I never would have made if I had let that yoko meshi steal my confidence and stress me out.  Push through it .. don’t give up.. make connections.

“A different language is a different vision of life.”
Federico Fellini

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”
Frank Smith

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”
Rita Mae Brown

“He who knows no foreign languages knows nothing of his own.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”
Geoffrey Willans

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
Nelson Mandela

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”
Charlemagne

“Change your language and you change your thoughts.”
Karl Albrecht

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.”
Flora Lewis

“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.”
Roger Bacon

“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club – the community of speakers of that language.”
Frank Smith

“Learn a new language and get a new soul.”
Czech Proverb

“A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.”
Gaston Bachelard

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”
Chinese Proverb

“One should not aim at being possible to understand but at being impossible to misunderstand.”
Marcus Fabius Quintilian

“A mistake is to commit a misunderstanding.”
Bob Dylan

Connections:  GSAL; Jan; Jo; OperationX; Lifestyle; Rivergirl; Nicholas; Ishita; James; Alina; Helen; Visha; Elizabeth

Schwellenangst


Schwellenangst (noun) Origin: German | shwel·en·ahngst  Fear of crossing a threshold to embark on something new

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Schwellenangst has always been an anomaly to me.  I have spent my life living in a mostly fearless way.  I have embraced the new and have actively sought it out.  Sameness bores me.  I have lived a life that has required me to be quick at making decisions that have hurled me into the new.  Spontaneity has described the essence of me and is what and who I have been.

I think that this is why the last year has been so hard on me.  As much as not being able to be spontaneous and come and go as I please, there has been some comfort in being isolated, locked inside, living silently in my safe cocoon solitude with no interference.  It has even been refreshing to be slightly bored.

Though I am looking forward to some upcoming changes that might bring me back to my normal.  In the same manner, for the first time in my life I am feeling a surge of schwellenangst at all of the newness that is bound to emerge as I enter this new normal.

“Fear and anxiety many times indicates that we are moving in a positive direction, out of the safe confines of our comfort zone, and in the direction of our true purpose.”
― Charles F. Glassman

“We do not fear the unknown. We fear what we think we know about the unknown.” – Teal Swan

Schwellenangst in others: Lauren; Moments; Thoughtsthatpersist; kaushal; Christine; Joseph; Thelen; Binnzy; Orlando; Perditus; Eddie; Alexander; Elaine; John

Yūgen


Yūgen (n.) – Origin: Japanese – Definition: An awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and mysterious for words.

I try to honestly and emphatically embrace the mysteries that surround me.  I usually prefer  taking photos of people.  I love to look back on them and wonder what they were thinking.  If they were happy or sad or just sitting there empty minded in a way that I rarely find myself in.  However, sometimes I will catch an image of an object or place that will trigger in me an emotional response that is very difficult to put into words. When i look back on these photos, i can distinctly remember the silence, the heat, the cold, the dampness, and sometimes the awe of that moment.

I don’t know if these images created an awareness of the universe, but they definitely made me feel.

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt is awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein

Thank a Vet


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy

I am unsure where the story came from, but as a veteran myself (21 years Navy), I love the story and the sentiment behind it.  It is not my own, but I love positive stories of the men and women who have served my country and this is really a great one.

The rest of this is the story that is written as I received it.ann m

it’s a story about one of the soldiers in this picture with Ann Margaret and what happened years later when he met her. It will take you about one minute to read it. Here’s the rest of the post:

Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Vietnam, other than a sniper had shot him.

However, he had a slightly grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.

A few years ago, Ann Margaret was doing a book signing at a local bookstore.

Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo, so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o’clock for the 7:30 signing.

When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and disappeared behind a parking garage.

Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted.

Richard was disappointed but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI’s so far from home.

Ann Margaret came out looking as beautiful as ever, and, as second in line, it was soon Richard’s turn.

He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo.

When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, “I understand. I just wanted her to see it.”

She took one look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes, and she said, “This is one of my gentlemen from Vietnam, and I most certainly will sign his photo.

I know what these men did for their country, and I always have time for ‘my gentlemen.”

With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him.

She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she appreciated them.

There weren’t too many dry eyes among those close enough to hear.

She then posed for pictures and acted as if he were the only one there.

That night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet.

I’ll never forget Ann Margaret for her graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.

Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he’d like to talk about it, my big, strong husband broke down in tears, “That’s the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army,” he said.

I now make it a point to say ‘Thank you’ to every person I come across who served in our Armed Forces.

Freedom does not come cheap, and I am grateful for all those who have served their country.

If you’d like to pass on this story, feel free to do so.

Perhaps it will help others to become aware of how important it is to acknowledge the contribution our service people make.

— Wife of Vietnam War Veteran.