Morii (noun) Origin: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows | The desire to capture a fleeting experience.
The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. – Eminem
“A happening was looming. It was out there somewhere beyond the regular enclosed life that I had been living. It was out there, not waiting, but existing. Being. Perhaps it was only slightly wondering if I would come to it.”
“If we only take a hard look at the facts of life, we will know that, really, nothing is in our hands – not even our hands are in our hands. Just try to hold your hand with your hand and you will know the reality. Really, nothing is in our power. Then what is the meaning of saying ”I” and ”me” and ”mine”? Here everything is happening, and happening together. It is an organic arrangement, an organic whole.”
Exulansis (noun) The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because others are unable to relate to it.
This is true of almost every place you will ever go. You cannot put into words the experience you had in a different country. You cannot find the right words to explain the sounds, smells, tastes, the beauty, the sorrow, or the joy of a place because there were just too many ideas from each portion of your time there. The chaos, the silence, the life of the people who live there. So much like every other place and yet so different from every other place. Specifically so different from my own experiences growing up in the U.S. and yet still sort of exactly like every experience I have ever had growing up in the U.S.
I have taken some amazing photos of many different places in the world. My friends and family love looking at them, but often cannot even imagine what it was actually like. I’m always a little surprised because when I live in or visit a different country, I see what I know. I see families eking out a life and a living. I see the rich and the poor, the politics, and the criminals. I also sometimes cannot imagine me being in some of the places I have been. Even when I am actually there. It will sometimes cross my mind how strange it is that I am just walking down a street in Lagos, or Kathmandu, or Caracas, or.. or .. or. It’s sort of like an out of body experience at times. If I feel that way, how can others even relate to the experience?
If an average day in a foreign country experience is difficult to explain, imagine how much more difficult it would be to try and explain going through a not average day in a foreign country. People wandering aimlessly through the streets. The heartbreak and the true chaos. The confusion and the trying to find assistance for the injured. It’s something that even now I struggle to put into words. It’s surreal. The pictures can show an aspect of the experience but not the recurring tremors. The “lost”ness that so many felt and very possibly still feel today after so many years. Even more important was discovering the immense strength of a nation’s people. I will never be able to fully explain it and I will never be able to ever forget it.
Onism (noun) Origin: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows | The awareness of how little of the world you will experience.
“The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange city names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die.”
ETYMOLOGY: Portmanteau of monism (the philosophical view that a variety of things can be explained in terms of a single reality) + onanism (alternative word for self-pleasure).
Taking a picture of folks on a bus and feeling a little sad that I am not on that bus because they appear to be having so much fun. Even when I am enjoying exactly where I am and what I am doing.
Being ok with where I currently am (Malabo), but wistfully wishing I was back where I was (Croatia here). So magical. Sort of the grass is always greener attitude, which I hate.
“I looked through others’ windows
On an enchanted earth
But out of my own window–
solitude and dearth.
And yet there is a mystery
I cannot understand–
That others through my window
See an enchanted land.”
Schwellenangst (noun) Origin: German | Fear of crossing a threshold to embark on something new.
ETYMOLOGY: From the German words Schwelle (threshold) + Angst (anxiety).
My dad passed in October and when I saw this word, it brought me back to his passing. It still causes angst in my heart along with the realization that I have embarked on a new journey. A journey that will no longer include my father or my mother.
In the U.S. death is viewed with angst, with fear, with trepidation, with not many positive words. All of these words are true, but more for the living than for the dying. Even the word passed is a euphemism that makes you think that the threshold is just something you walk through which makes the actual event that much more traumatic (for the living). Watching someone die is traumatic. Devastating.
The word also brought me back to my time in Nepal. In Nepal bodies are generally cremated. They are carried through the street (also generally) and brought to the sacred area where folks sit on one side of a river and 5-9 bodies would be laid to rest on the other side of the river and publicly and openly cremated. Families would gather on the other side of the river and watch the events. There would often be food and drink shared and people would come and go from the cremation area. Anyone could stand and watch or pass through this area. At first it was super odd to watch but also fascinating. Kids were playing nearby, monkeys begging for snacks, old people staring into the distance. Who knows what they were contemplating. There was sadness of course, but it was an expected event. Everyone lives and everyone dies.
I actually found it reassuring. Crossing the threshold is inevitable. The end is not necessarily the most important part of the journey. In Nepal, it was a reminder that we are all eventually smoke and ash. The trick for me is not to be smoke and ash during the years I am passing through right now. Here’s to the threshold! Enjoy.
“Life itself means to separate and to be reunited, to change form and condition, to die and to be reborn. It is to act and to cease, to wait and to rest, and then to begin acting again, but in a different way. And there are always new thresholds to cross: the threshold of summer and winter, of season or a year, of a month of a night; the thresholds of birth, adolescence, maturity and old age; the threshold of death and that of the afterlife — for those who believe in it.”
Komorebi (noun) Origin: Japanese | The sunlight that filters through the trees.
During my time in Nepal, I was able to visit an elephant rescue sanctuary. There were parts of this place that were stunning. It was amazing to be so close to such massive and gentle beasts. The surroundings were magical with the the sun lightly shining through the trees.
However, in the end, I was not in love with the place or the concept of this particular reserve. As I looked at these majestic animals, at each part of the animal, I became a little sad. A baby separated from its mother, sad eyes, chains. So many tourists. Myself included.
I promised myself I would not participate in this type of tour again. I support animal rescue efforts. However, this one left me feeling a little empty. One day I would love to participate in a tour that allows me to visit elephants when they are roaming free and in their natural habitat.
A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.
The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So if I can’t have those things then I feel like a caged animal and I’d rather not be in a cage. I’d rather be dead. And it’s real simple. And I think it’s not that uncommon. – Angelina Jolie