Would a Rose By Any Other Name Smell So Sweet?

When we say “I love you” does it truly express the feeling?  The experience of that emotion, at that second, to its absolute fullest?  No, of course it doesn’t.  In fact I find those three, very, important words rather uninspiring and most of all ill-used in its application.

In Italian, if you want to say “I love you” to your children, your parents, your sweetheart you simply say: “Ti Amo.”  In Japanese: “Aishiteru.” German: “Ich liebe dich.”  This confuses me.  How can it apply to all?  Do you feel the same towards your children as you do to the person you share your bed with?  Again, of course not!  Then why does it seem to me that our language has fallen so short, lost its punch, its passion, its beauty in expressing all the voluminous ways that our hearts could possibly bloom and explode, sing and dance telling that someone very special: without you I would die?

heart leaf

A mere translation, yes.  But does it have to be?  Take for instance the Mojave language.  When a mother wants to express her feelings toward her child she uses the word wakavar.  And when she wants to say I love you to her lover she doesn’t use the same word.  Instead she says nyen nyen.  The word for hummingbird.  Yet she’s not referring to the word itself rather the action of its tiny body moving compactly in and out of the flower.  In essence she’s using their word for sex.

Can you imagine a more interesting way of sparking someone’s interest than with a visual of wings fluttering rapidly, heart beating 1,260 beats per minute dipping with driving force into that flesh of flower and sweet, syrupy nectar?  Ahem…of course not!


In fact I suspect if you try this method of dialogue on some willing participant and not someone’s grandfather, you might even get yourself a little lucky!

I don’t know…maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I’m the only one spinning my wheels here and none of this matters to anyone else—but me.  I only know when I sit down to write I bring all the power of a language, because as a writer that’s what we do, and I only hope that somewhere in between all that I say, its meaning and I live happily ever after.

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Back in the Saddle

bicycle2largerWell here I am.  Back in South Florida after a week’s FEMA training in Charleston, SC standing in the middle of my daughter’s living room thinking as I glance around: I’m raring to go.  I’m finally ready to figure out where the hell I belong in this tiny, one-bedroom apartment amongst all this other “stuff.”

Now when I say “stuff” I’m referring to the collection of furniture that normally occupies the space beside these newly, established accoutrements of baby gear, of sloping mountains of boxes with the word “Pampers” stamped in, lying in wait to wrap themselves around some, cute little bottom, and oh yes…must not forget the remnants of my office that up until five weeks ago took up my entire second bedroom and now appears to be stuffed in a corner, gathering dare I say it…dust.

Five weeks?  Is that all it’s been since I boarded the plane at LAX?  Hmph…it feels like yesterday.  More than likely I suppose that’s because every day has been this whirlwind of non-stop activity for Carly and myself: shopping, eating, shopping, cleaning, re-arranging her 2×4 closet like a contortionist in order to create more room for the one third of my wardrobe that I didn’t donate to Goodwill.

Mind you I’m not complaining. Not when I realize I’m not the only one here inconvenienced as well as sacrificing their sense of independence for the sake of this baby about to be born.  Oh no, I wouldn’t dare do that.  Okay…so I have myself a good, little cry every so often.

Who wouldn’t?

It’s hard to come back to a life you left behind.  A life that had run its course and the possibility of drowning in its monotony was more than a distinct possibility.  But as the landscape changes with time, so do you.  So must you.

I believe that.  How else do we survive all those curveballs?  Challenging ourselves is as much a part of our personal growth as it is accepting the good right there along with the bad.  These are the things that go hand in hand, like faith.  I’m not talking a spiritual faith but an intuitive knowing that in the end things have a way of always working themselves out.  That’s my mantra.  That’s what I keep telling myself every morning as I drag my body off this couch, as I grabble with the prospect of facing yet another day in alien skin and finally imagining what it would feel like to plop back into the saddle.

Not the old one, of course.  No, no…not that!  What I’m looking for now is something brand, spanking new.  Something that smells good, feels good and will offer me a whole, different perspective on life so I will painlessly forget about the humdrum reality of South Florida living, the horrid humidity, the ever-presently, dismal raincloud hovering overhead and get back to what I know, what I love.  Writing.

I’m sure once I can do that, I can do anything.  And the rest will be cake!

Now…any thoughts on where the heck in all this mess I might’ve put my laptop?  How about my shoes?

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The Meaning of Gold

Well…this is it. Five days left for me in California and needless to say the packing up, the trashing, the shredding, the giving away of possessions that I would have preferred to keep but couldn’t because of lack of space in my daughter’s apartment, has been both a nightmare and mournful passage.

I’m not big on things. I don’t own a theatre-size plasma TV or wall-to-wall designer furniture. Lovely as they are, they are luxuries, pretty possessions that merely take up space and I know will be harder to pack the next time around. A time for me which is now and a time which does seems to be cropping up more and more these days.

Which was okay when I was younger. I certainly had more stamina back then and the aches and pains would eventually fade away after a few hours. Now…they just stay.

It’s all good though because I’ve pretty much whittled this whole uprooting thing down to a science. I’m an efficient machine my mother can’t understand how I do what I do.
How I so easily pick myself up and just go. I let her think what she wants because I couldn’t bear her worrying about me. At 86 with an already failing memory, one that can’t sustain any real conversation of thought, sadly I say very little these days.

Not once have I surrendered to her how tough it really is. Transplanting one self goes far beyond the physical exertion. It bottoms down to a home is more than just four walls. It’s what you fill each of those rooms with. The gaps of spaces that comprise a life. The people you choose to bring in. For me it were those tiny nuggets of gold, the handful of women I somehow fortunately found—or should I say they found me—who enriched my day-to-day world with shoulders of steel, with laughs, with tears, and with lots of beers and martinis that might otherwise have been a humdrum of meaningless hours strung together and often times walked alone.

I cannot say how differently this chapter of my life would have turned out if I hadn’t meet them. But as I once again turn the page I’m realizing something I’ve thought about a lot these days: that over time and distance there are some things in life you can easily adjust yourself to and eventually learn to live with. Then there are other things, you never will.

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