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

Yūgen


Yūgen (n.) – Origin: Japanese – Definition: An awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and mysterious for words.

I try to honestly and emphatically embrace the mysteries that surround me.  I usually prefer  taking photos of people.  I love to look back on them and wonder what they were thinking.  If they were happy or sad or just sitting there empty minded in a way that I rarely find myself in.  However, sometimes I will catch an image of an object or place that will trigger in me an emotional response that is very difficult to put into words. When i look back on these photos, i can distinctly remember the silence, the heat, the cold, the dampness, and sometimes the awe of that moment.

I don’t know if these images created an awareness of the universe, but they definitely made me feel.

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt is awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein

Dérive


Dérive (n.) – Origin:Latin/French – A spontaneous journey where the traveler leaves their life behind for a time to let the spirit of the landscape and architecture attract and move them.

Venezuela was my first posting.  I have some of the fondest memories of this place and hope to one day be able to go back and revisit some of my favorite places and discover new ones.  This was a very special time in my life for so many reasons.  I hope can you vicariously enjoy some of my favorite times there.

Skydiving and Canyoning

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Merida

Colonia Tovar

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Port Ordaz/Ciudad Bolivar/ Playas/Chichiriviche Cerca de Morocoy/ Santa Theresa/ Avila/ Caracas

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Catatumbo/ Delta Orinoco/ Los LLanos / otres partes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you asked me what my favorite part of living and working in Venezuela was, I would not be able to answer.  I loved all of it.  My colleagues, my friends, the random people I met and places I went.  Just so many good things.  Like I said, I would love, love, love to go back and hopefully one day I will.

Venezuela: Geri; Barbara; Luke; Isaiah; Elliot; Oliver; Dillan; Noah; Mason; ravanji; Rob; Archyde;

Peripatetic


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

13732046_10153904772173282_7010958386203445190_o

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.

300582_1956538788450_7199965_n

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.

104325367_10157528382428282_8156082610491778237_n

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?

18662_249249028281_1447781_n

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).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

534371_10150899163593282_1855880667_n

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

10151332_10152483163708282_1700372571727192723_n

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

Numinous


Numinous (adj.) – Origin: English – Definition: Describing an experience that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted.

116018972_10157642753108282_5566393823100888351_n

I’m not afraid of heights.  Yet, every time I rise above the clouds, my stomach turns.  I ask myself, “Why am I up here?”  Every time I stand at the edge of a drop off, I think, “Good Lord, what am I doing?”  I have flung myself from an airplane, jumped off the side of a mountain, jumped off rooftops, and bridges.  What was I thinking and why would I do that?  What is this fascination?  Why does anyone do it?

It’s crazy, but jumping from a plane or from the side of a mountain was way less scary than hanging Christmas lights from my roof, or washing my 2nd story windows.  I have heard that it is because you are so high in the sky that you can’t really grasp the full spectrum of where you are or what you are doing.  When you are on a ladder, or within view of the ground, you can actually feel how close you are and understand the consequences … or something like that.

I have only done it once, and it’s true, it does not actually feel like falling.  I guess that’s because you are traveling at about 120 miles an hour and you can’t actually go any faster and unlike being in a car or a plane, you do not have a chance to see things pass by you but only to feel the wind.  I have a video Skydiving in Venezuela and it’s such a rush re-watching it. It was definitely a numinous experience.  Something that I would be attracted to do again, and yet wonder… during the entire event… why oh why was I doing this?

“I guess everyone has a bird urge when they look down heights, a desire to jump, without wing or buoyant sail. Fear of heights is fear of a desire to jump.”
― Amruta Patil

“People who are saying that they are afraid of heights are usually not actually afraid of heights. They are afraid of falling, which means it’s a synonym for losing control.
So they have to get in touch with the definitional belief to find out what’s really going on.”
― Bashar

From a past post – another heights fascination.  Though I would be less likely to Canyon again.  It felt more dangerous than skydiving.  Again perspective.  The ground was so darn close.

Canyoning in Venezuela – (2 more links you can view) 2nd link 3rd link – Scared, hot, cold, falling, jumping, sliding, wet.  Energy, Exhaustion and Emotion.  Rushing water. Drowns thought. High-low-tired-wide awake.  Heart racing.  No worries only the moment. No thinking only moving.  Laughter. Fear. Laughter. Memories.

Heights:  CEE; stine; pensivity; crazy; kathy; jade; archyde; matrox; tadra; yahya; simplicity; guamanchi;