Sehnsucht: (noun) Origin: German |An intense yearning for something far-off and indefinable.
ETYMOLOGY: From German words sehnen (to long) and Sucht (anxiety; sickness; addiction).
“There is a German word, Sehnsucht, which has no English equivalent; it means ‘the longing for something’. It has Romantic and mystical connotations; C.S. Lewis defined it as the ‘inconsolable longing’ in the human heart for ‘we know not what’. It seems rather German to be able to specify the unspecifiable. The longing for something – or, in our case, for someone.”
― Julian Barnes
“The greatest forces lie in the region of the uncomprehended.”
― George MacDonald
“Who then is to judge what is good, true, and beautiful? You are. Plato says it is the soul: the proper dimensions and proportions are already stored in our minds, and when we recognize the good, true, and beautiful– how is it that we do it? It is by anamnesis, the act of recalling what we have seen somewhere before. You must have received an impression of what is right somewhere else, because you recognize it instantly; you don’t have to have it analyzed; you don’t have to say, “That is beautiful,” or “That is ugly”; you welcome it as an old acquaintance. We recognize what is lovely because we have seen it somewhere else, and as we walk through the world, we are constantly on the watch for it with a kind of nostalgia, so that when we see an object or a person that pleases us, it is like recognizing an old friend.”
― Hugh Nibley
Vorfreude (noun) Origin: German | The joyful anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures.
Two more weeks and I’m off on vacation! Woot Woot. I have built in a couple of mandatory road trips. Last year, I flew in and out of my home town with the expectation that I would take a short road trip during my time with my family. 2020 ended up being all about dad and due to him being sick, it never happened. So this year, I am flying in and out of Seattle which will force me to drive from Seattle to Spokane. It’s a great 4-5 hour drive through some beautiful country. Valley to plains to mountains to rainforest to ocean. My second trip will be to Oregon to check out some areas for future reference. No solid plans, just a solid plan to hit the road with some fun tunes and a carful of random gas station snacks. Nothing makes me happier. I mean in general. A lot of things make me happier but road trips top the list. From childhood to my most recent years, they are my favorite memories. I can’t wait!
“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi
“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” –Jerry Seinfeld
“I get emotionally attached to the cars ahead of me on long road trips.” – Unknown
“That’s why I love road trips, dude. It’s like doing something without actually doing anything.” – John Green
“It doesn’t matter how old you get, buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised 9-year-old was given $100.” – Unknown
Dès Vu (noun) Origin: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows | The awareness that this will become a memory.
ETYMOLOGY: From the French word dès vu, “seen as soon as” or “seen from this point forward”
Sometimes this is how I view the things I do as I am doing them. I travel a lot and have lived far away from everyone I know for a very long time. My long-standing and connected group of friends and family have built histories of togetherness and sameness. Sometimes I am jealous of them. Sometimes they say they are jealous of me.
This has been my intent and my dream and I have chosen this life and have very few regrets. I turn 54 this month and though this is still young, I am quite far from my mid-life stage. I mean really? I truly do not expect to live to 108. I do have some decades in front of me but sometimes when I am looking ahead, I can’t help but already feel disconnected from what is directly in front of me. I feel like the present has already happened and I begin to miss moments at the exact time I am experiencing them. I know that in minutes it will be gone and all that will remain is the memory of what once was…
“Once in a while you look up, and watch as the present turns into a memory, as if some future you is already looking back on it.“
“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
― Beryl Markham
“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”
― John Green
Schwellenangst (noun) Origin: German | shwel·en·ahngst Fear of crossing a threshold to embark on something new
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
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