Schwellenangst


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.”
― Arnold van Gennep

Threshold:  Thoughts; Hobbo; blindzanygirl; victoria; purplerays; strangers; heart; compassandcamera; beth; dale; brand; maedharanael; ben; tom; overthinking; shayan; swabby; Yinglan; Ramblings

Aprosexia – Hyperprosexia – Paraprosexia – yup that’s me


Aprosexia, an abnormal inability to pay attention, characterized by near-complete indifference to everything. Opposite is hyperprosexia, meaning to concentrate on one thing to the exclusion of everything else; and, paraprosexia, meaning the inability to pay attention to anyone thing (a state of constant distraction).

When I find myself under duress, I believe that the word aprosexia is exactly what I am.  I can’t focus, I am easily distracted and it’s not because I can’t focus, it is more because I really just don’t care about what you are trying to get me to care about.  I just do not care.  Nothing you can do or say will bring me back from where ever I am.

Ironically, I am also very much almost completely the opposite.  I have been accused of being incredibly hyperprosexia when I am really into something.  I can be so deeply focused on just ONE thing that I get angry when I am in the middle of it and just want to be left alone.  There are special things that have me intensely occupied and when someone attempts to distract me from completing that special project I can quietly lose my mind.  This happens when I am working on an art project, reading a really good book, or just trying to get an important task done.

However, if there was ever a word that described me almost completely, it would likely be paraprosexia.  I am very good at being easily distracted.  I am great at multi-tasking because I operate better when there are a million things going on at the same time.  I tell circular stories.  I can start a joke, get distracted with my thoughts, my words, my ideas and my actions, and eventually get to the punchline.  My mind is often working overtime like these dancers in Nepal.  Crazy colors, sounds, and movement.  It’s my favorite place to be.

savage; boheme; Herry; Jonathan; Divine; hubner; Judy; quest; marie

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

Strikhedonia


Strikhedonia (n.) – Origin: Greek  – Definition: The pleasure of being able to say “to hell with it!”

I did it on a whim, just for the hell of it.  There was no particular reason, rhyme, or directive.  I can’t say the devil made me do it, I was not goaded into action. I didn’t have to do it. It wasn’t right or wrong.  It wasn’t even to satisfy a whim.  It was there and I did it. No apologies. No regrets.  Now, it seems, I can’t stop.

“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.”
― Johnny Depp

“Believe it or not, some of us have piercings and tattoos and dye our hair because we think it looks pretty, not for any deep sociological reason. This isn’t an act of protest against cultural or social repression. It’s not a grand, deliberately defiant gesture against capitalists or feminists or any other social group. It’s not even the fashion equivalent to sticking two fingers up at the world. The boring truth of it, Gabriel, is that I don’t dress like this to hurt my parents or draw attention to myself or make a statement. I just do it because I think it looks nice. Disappointed?”
― Alex Bel

Just do it:  Abigail; Brad; Dave; Manishasky; asantapied; savannah; akindheart; jojo; Michael; cat; Deb; 12raisins; jolens; nishabd; hobbo; Ray; Adrienne; Joana