Hello fellow travelers. I decided today that all conversation is like speaking a foreign language; there’s nothing that can’t be lost in translation. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced that.
That experience got me to thinking that words are like colors. We all think we see the same colors, but do we really? And we all think we use words the same way, but words are really like little fairy tales. If I ask what a word means, first will come the dictionary definition; if I ask again, a little of the word’s story will appear; and if I ask a third time, who knows but the word is apt to unfold like a fairy tale. If I ask you about jam, you may tell me a story about your childhood, butter, the bread, the flavor and the stickiness of it on your hands. And what made me think of that? The photo below.
The window is hard to read, but it says: mediapioneer. 100% Journalismus. Keine Märchen. That made me laugh. I don’t know what the business is, but the “subtitle” may be translated as: 100% Journalism. No Fables. I laughed because fables and fairy tales were the journalism of their day. Many stories, like Bluebeard, and many nursery rhymes, were likely inspired my real events. The great fables and fairy tales speak truth to child and adult alike, across cultures and across time.
I tried to take some pictures of German houses in the neighborhoods of Wannsee and Dahlemdorf, but I can never make these pictures interesting. You will seldom find a stick framed house or a house with wood clapboards. All houses are built with stuccoed concrete blocks and once they’re built they look just as immovable. There’s something about the wood-clapboarded New England house that makes it feel as though its more apt to one day tell you all its stories—the tired porch, crooked windows, the sway-back roof and squeaking stairs.
Robert Frost once said that to be a poet in New England was as good as to carry a mill stone round ones neck. To call oneself a dreamer isn’t too different. And yet some of our most memorable words begin: “I have a dream…” And one of our greatest songs tells us:
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.
I don’t know what inspires me to write all that? Maybe describing my dreaming in yesterday’s post. Or it might be that the word dream has in it some of the most beautiful fairy tales in the language—both lived and yet to come.
summer nights—first the mother's then the child's laughter 240: August 28th 2019 | bottlecap