Nemophilist


Nemophilist (n.) – Origin: Greek – Definition: A haunter of the woods; one who loves the forest and its beauty and solitude.

So many forests in so many countries with so many people with so little time. Park forests, mountain forests, island forests, animal forests.  I cannot say all of this better than the people I am quoting below.

“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.”

– John Muir

“Gold is a luxury. Trees are necessities. Man can live and thrive without gold, but we cannot survive without trees.”

– Paul Bamikole

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“I found far more answers in the woods than I ever did in the city.”

– Mary Davis

“In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.”

John Fowles

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
― Herman Hesse

forest: roth; michele; mark; sustainabilitea; becky; Mason; Eddie; paula; phillip; Ingrid; cherie; cepcarol; sandy; paul; sue; rebecca

Natsukashii


Natsukashii (Adjective) Origin: Japanese | A happy recollection of an event or memory.

The adjective originally described wanting to keep something close or wanting to express fondness for something. Over time, this term was used more to describe happy reminiscences, leading to the modern meaning. Take note that this is different from a nostalgic longing, but more of joyous remembrance of a past memory.

I was trying to find a single picture to go with this word.  I could not.  I have more joyous remembrances of times past than nostalgic longings.  I tend not to focus on the things that went wrong.  I do sometimes miss what is no longer there but I can honestly say that I would generally never want to go back to any period of my life.

I have no regrets. Do not wish for do-overs.  I believe in the butterfly effect.  If you were able to go back and change just one thing.. what would be different now? You could not guarantee it would be better.  As a matter of fact, it would likely be worse. (you really should watch the movie) I love the journey.

I’m not trying to say it has all been good.  I have had some extreme rough patches in life and at times I have been quite devastated by the twists life has presented.  However, even those times have shaped me to be the person I am today.  The one thing that stands out when I look back on my photos is that at every point in my life, even the worst of times … I smile.  I smile and it’s genuine.

When I was about 13 or 14, one of my best friends in junior high gave me a birthday card that read, “The one who laughs… lasts.”  (Thanks JoNelle) It was true.  I did. I still do.

It’s great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later. George Foreman

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Happy memories:  Arristela; paradise; nzain; vrunda; Jane; plaridel; Brendan; Teresa; reluctant; Jaya; Tim; wandering; sakshi; supreet; chinhooi; scribble; hope

Saudade


Saudade (noun) Origin: Portuguese | sɐw’dadə A nostalgic longing to be near again to something distant or someone that is distant.

I am nostalgic about almost every place I have ever been.  I miss the memories of the traveling I have done, of the places I have seen, of the people I have met.  I took a trip to Croatia with my youngest daughter a few years ago and it really was an amazing time.  Sure there were the mommy/daughter moments that were outrageously annoying.  However, I prefer to only remember the best parts of that trip.

I think it’s easier to remember … and to forget the annoyances of traveling with family than it is regarding issues that arise while traveling with friends. For me, it is because family has known you forever and you have your patterns and histories of the good and the bad.  For every bad there is a good.  Especially with your children.  My dream has always been to show my children the world.  Luckily for me, I have been pretty successful at that.

Though I do love traveling with friends.  There is always a feeling of saudade when my children or family are not around.  I feel like I have let them down by not having them participate in my adventure.  The re-telling is never the same as the being there.  Also, there is a freedom of being able to comfortably be at your best, your worst, your goofiest, your happiest, and even your saddest.  I am looking forward to more travels with them, more memories with them, and really, just being nearer to them.

“That strange sense of being different stays with you. You long to be with people who are more like you. Similarities are what bonds humans than differences, Beevitha.”
― Husna Mohammad

Saudade:  Irina; Iamfierce; candk; seeking; julia; zeki; simon; Asakura; agogo; chronosfer;

Sprachgefühl


Sprachgefühl (noun) Origin: German | A person who has the feel for a language.

This literally translates as ‘language feeling’ from compound nouns combining Sprache (language) and Gefühl (feeling). Basically, this does not only refer to a person who has a good understanding of foreign languages but also to a person who has intuitiveness for what is linguistically appropriate.

The truth is, I have no real understanding of foreign languages.  I do have a good understanding and am very intuitive to what people are saying, meaning, or wanting though. I’m perceptive to the needs of others.  Not always accommodating but very perceptive to what they want or need.

I have taken both Spanish and Nepali courses for work.  Nepali was easier for me because it was completely not logical and did not even use the U.S. alphabet but an easier form of Hindi.  I was also able to learn the Korean alphabet when I was in Korea. However, the Spanish language was and continues to be a struggle for me.  There is something about learning a very hard language that makes the teachers a little more forgiving and makes the learning more memorable.  

As you can see, I was a very diligent student.  However, few of the measures I took helped me learn the language.  I just do not have a mind for this type of thing.  I enjoyed the role playing, the music, the movies and I could always get the gist.  But the memorizing of nonsensical words in nonsensical sentences didn’t help me at all.  It was exhausting.

After 7 months of Spanish, a few weeks in Ecuador in a language program, and many folks doing their best to help me out, I was still confusing past, present, future, imperative, gender, words in general.  I think because Spanish is everywhere and you can make out so many of the words, i felt it would be so much easier.

For me it was not.  I cannot tell you how many times I would be telling someone a story about my childhood in Spanish, and the person would look at me and say, “Wait, me?  Wait, you?  Wait, who are you talking about?”  My feelings were that if you did not understand me completely, you should at least understand if you or I had done something.. work it out man.  When i tell you a story about being attacked by a seal…. do you really have to ask “who” was attacked by a seal? I mean, unless you were actually attacked by a seal then yes, that is a great question.  Anyways.  

Once I completed my language classes, I completely enjoyed every country I visited.  I loved being able to even partially communicate in any of the languages of the countries I visited.  It completely changed the travel experience. 

Also, even though I did not quite know all the words, I was able to tell jokes, laugh at jokes, sing along, and carry on broken conversations with just about anyone. I think that having a “feel” for a language is sometimes more important than to be able to speak it perfectly.  Sadly my bosses do not always agree with my philosophy .. and sure they are at least partly right.  I do know that I had fun and I do know that people had fun with me and sometimes at my expense for my communication errors.  In my world, that means total success.

I have been to many countries at this point and in many of the countries I never spoke the language at all.  I think if you looked at all of the pictures below, you would not be able to know which countries I understood and spoke the languages and which ones I did not.  For me, the understanding came with the smiles.  It came with laughing over common states of being.  It came from eating and drinking the same food and realizing that we all had some of the same joys and some of the same sadnesses. 

I am definitely classifiable as a Sprachgefühl … if that is even a classifiable state of being.  See, not even sure if this is a real word, but you feel me, right?

what does the dog say?   Rochelle; Ibonoco; varnika; Rosie; Troy; Debasis; Jim; Rebecca; helen; annette; libertatemamo; albigensia; Cherie; suzanne

Sehnsucht


Sehnsucht (n.) – Origin: German – Definition: The inconsolable longing in the human heart for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one’s home.

I spent 3 years teaching English in Korea.  My youngest daughter lived with me for the first year.  I homeschooled her and she would often come into my classroom and “assist” me in teaching the kids. My oldest daughter came and lived with me for a bit, and then off on her own for a bit teaching English herself.

During both of their times in Korea with me, we hiked, went to mask festivals, tea festivals, ate, ate, and ate more than you can imagine.  We volunteered at an orphanage and at a soup kitchen.  My kids volunteered on the set of a “movie” once and we participated in a variety of artist events.

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Sometimes I feel a bit of sehnsucht for this special country and often consider it my second home from home.  I will sometimes dream that when I am done doing what I am currently doing, I will go back there once again and resume my previous life.  I know they say you can never go home again. I hope that is not true.  I will forever hold Seoul in my heart as one of the most special times in my life.  My daughters both agree that if I were to go back, this is the one place they would follow me to if they could.

Korea – Rolling; avagal liz; corvec; zhenya; graeme; naomi; charlie; fugitive; sofie; joseph; hab; kaja; secretmoona; margaux; bamculture; stephanie;