Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rainbows and Words

Relationships are hard and I am experiencing the ups and downs of relearning how to be in one.  However, every day now I am reminded about the delights of being truly connected to another human being.  Beyond the big stuff … travel, family, garden projects, movies, sex and so on … there are those grain-of-sand moments that amaze and delight me.

In a few weeks, I'll be off to Mexico for several weeks of language intensive, so my Spanish-fluent, language- and word-oriented partner often offers bits and pieces to help my progress.  This morning's conversation involved the definition of "bow" … arco … and then moved to "rainbow."  I know the word for "rain" … lluvia … so I guessed arco de lluvia.  

Wrong … thinking like an English speaker, logical, left-brained, rather than metaphorical, right-brained.  The Spanish word for "rainbow" is arco iris … an honoring of Iris, the messenger goddess who links the gods and humanity, rather than a simple description of a meteorological event.

Somehow the difference in words for one common event struck me and reminded me of the cycle of language and culture.  Which creates which? Do words arise out of our common culture, or does our culture arise out of our words?  Most likely both, however, it seems to me that looking at the bright spectrum of color that accompanies a rainy day and thinking "rainbow" creates a different perspective and feeling state than looking at the same wonder and thinking "arco iris"

I am looking forward to delving into a new language, not only for the ability to communicate in a new way but also for the different perspectives of the world that new words might bring.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Idylling About ...

Sometimes change comes in demitasse cups … sometimes it floods your world with Big Gulps.  The past several months have been of the Big Gulp variety as a new love entered my life, I sold my home in Arroyo Grande and began to live on the edge of a breeze, drifting here and there like a milkweed seed.  In between the lovely, weightless moments have been surges of terror, insecurity and a mad grasping for something … anything … that would make me feel some sense of control.

Gradually, I'm settling down, releasing the need to know what's coming next, letting go of expectations and thoughts of what life *should* be like.  At my age, there's no longer time to worry about what the world thinks, what the world expects, what the world deems "right."  The new love in my life handed me a platter of possibilities and said pick what you want … what you really want.  It's frustrating to realize that I'm not sure I know.  Even now … here in my seventh decade ... I still have to stop and think: do I really want this (whatever it is) or am I just operating on past conditioning?

My life no longer looks "normal." I don't have a "home" in the standard sense. I'm not married, employed, working to make the world a better place or even baking cookies for my grandchildren. I have almost nothing to hang my ego and identity on. If someone should ask me what I do, I'd stammer helplessly for an answer.  For the first time in my life I may be more of a "being" and less of a "doing."

In two weeks I will head off to Mexico to fulfill a dream I've had for most of my adult life … to learn Spanish.  It's a dream I've launched in fits and starts, taking Spanish 1 probably a dozen times or more, always convincing myself that I would never be really good at a second language so it was pointless to try.  Now, I've decided I don't care where I wind up, I just want to revel in a new language.  So, for seven weeks, I'll be in an intensive language course … four weeks in San Miguel de Allende (an art community in central Mexico), then three weeks in Playa del Carmen (on the beach in the Yucatan).  And, then, just for good measure a week in Merida, the capital of the Yucatan where wandering the streets will be my classroom.

As I've been thinking about this trip, I knew I wanted to blog about this adventure … therefore, I started looking for a new blog title and came up with Idylling About... with the idea of wandering about with little direction in a peaceful, joyful manner. A merger of "idle" and "idyll" building on the dictionary definition of idyll as a noun meaning an extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque episode or scene.

Turning that noun into action yielded "idylling" -  joyfully living with little structure and forethought while wandering through art, love, imagination, spirit, peace, transformation, poetry, metaphor, connection and conversation. 

You're invited to join me and add your comment about how you are idylling through life.