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;

Peripatetic


Peripatetic (noun) Origin: Greek | peri·pa·tet·ic A person who spends his time wandering.

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If there is a word that most describes me, it would be this word.  I AM a peripatetic.  I started my life as one and I believe that is how it will end.

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I have mentioned this several times, but from the time I was a very small child. I read books on travel and adventure.  From the wild west to space exploration.  I loved the idea of being anywhere and everywhere.  I loved all things related to magic, space, the future, the past, immortality, and any form of travel, survival, and escape.

My first attempts at travel (meandering and wandering throughout the world), were simple road trips close to home.  I’m not sure why my mom and dad allowed me to drive from Spokane to Shelby at 16, by myself, through a mountainous, and over a sometimes dangerous highway.  But they did, so I did. Meh, it was the 80s.  I’m still alive.

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My best friend in high school was also game for wandering here and there. I think we started in what appears to be the 1800s?

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We wandered by car, dance, skiing, and apparently a bit of cannibalism.  At 17, both of our parents allowed us to drive from Spokane to Seattle and off into Canada. Again, it was the 80s and meh.. we are both still alive..

I have wandered with friends, cousins, kids, and whoever else was game.  I have wandered by train, plane, moto bike, bicycle, boat, balloon, parachute, hashing, hiking, tram, subway, slide, skeleton, camel, elephant, my daughter’s back, and car (just to name a few modes of maneuver).

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My favorite wanderings were by car, followed super closely by train.  I love seeing new things ahead of me but also love seeing what I’m leaving behind in my rearview mirror.

There is something magical about wandering across the U.S. and other countries by car that is difficult to replicate.  One of the beautiful things is when you are in a car is that everything is directly in front of you.  Sometimes it is annoying (heavy traffic) and other times, it simply takes your breath away.

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You are going slow enough to really see things.  If you see something you like, you can stop and take a photo, interact with the actors in this flick that you have just created.  You can experience your surroundings in any way you choose.  Admittedly, sometimes it can be terrifying and sometimes you feel like you have been taken hostage, or you have taken your passengers hostage!! I’m delighted to say that both of my daughters have developed a love of wandering as well.  I personally feel that the many wanderings we have made, have drawn us closer than nearly anything else we have done in our lives.  We have this expansion that has happened in our heads that can never be reduced or taken away.

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The same goes for walking.  When you hike or walk, you are in the thick of it. You can be invisible and interact or you can simply pass through.  I think so many people miss the purpose of travel because they are constantly flying from here to there, simply to get there.  Dude!!! For me it’s the journey.

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“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

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Wanderings: mousumi; fanny; srikanth; islandtraveler; dave; janny; sonofasailor; alec; ab; artsyfartsy; karen; Gary; laura; geekyhooker; Ruth

Day 23 ~ When we all were black and white


When I think of black and white photos .. I think of the olden days.. like… you know.. my mom and dad’s era and before.. A romantic period of time that was all black and white. The photos were glorious in that you just can not determine when they were taken.  There is something so special about them that it makes me want to go back to that time and meet all of the folks in the photos.  I think that black and white photos are more interpretive.  When photos are in color you can often guess the era and sometimes even the location the photo was taken.

“I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” – Kim Hunter

I think that is why I love black and white photos.  With black and white, you can get away from the distractions and focus on the content.  It’s like an Alfred Hitchcock show.  When you are not allowed to see all of the details, your mind has to make up what is not obvious. It’s more attractive and more mysterious in my opinion.

A final few of my favorites from the past.  Just can’t get enough of the black and whites.

Day 16 ~ XX Countries ~ Korea


“How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss

“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

I think I want to return to the first place I lived as an adult but always felt like a child.  I know they say you can’t go home again, but I sort of want to try.  I know it would be different.  I know the same people would not be there.  I don’t even know if I would like it as much as I did when I was there before.  It was such a unique experience.  Both of my daughters at one point joined me there and spent a year each at different times.  If I went back, what would I change?  If I went back, would I regret it?

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
― John Banville

The friends I made.  The food I ate. The places I went. The laughs I had.  The memories we all made.  They stay with me like an ache. I am brilliant at forgetting the times that were not amazing and when I look back at this fresh blast of freedom, I can only think of the connections I made and how alive I felt.  How very, very, very alive and joyful.
“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”
― Gabriel García Márquez
We were so active in the community we lived in.  We participated in so many things.  We played games, worked as helping hands at food drives and orphanages, acted in theater or at least carried lights, toured far and wide, and attended festivals.  Most importantly, there was a disassociation from the news, tv, internet, political and social issues that today just seem never ending and overwhelming at times.
“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
― Tennessee Williams
“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”
― Dr. Seuss
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Subway heartache (sung to “It’s a heartache” lyrics remade by me and my daughter.  Made sense at the time.  Just in case you want to sing along…I couldn’t load the video but think you would have enjoyed it.
It’s a heart ache. .. sometimes it seems sooo strange..
Sitting on the subway.. surrounded by Ko-reee eeehhh ans..
It’s a fools game.. looks like it will rain…
I think I’m lost again.. I don’t know where I eye eye am..
It’s not right.. when they all stare.. as if I wasn’t there
but I am
I think it’s quite insane.. they don’t know who I am.. but they stare..