Friday, January 24, 2014

tou logu to charisma

"We" is a powerful word.
It symbolizes belonging and magic and power and unity.
It symbolizes two becoming one.

A little snowstorm of words

 As I watched the gold sun, setting over the purple sky, so molded and beautiful, shine off the wing of the airplane, my mind yearned for the right word to describe that rich, molded sunset. 
I struggled to think of all the words that I know that could express how that sunset transcended beautiful. 
That sunset's uniqueness was beyond the reach of words. 
Sitting on that plane, I realized I missed the words of Hindi and Bengali: pannee, tikache, bol, boss atchke.
The strong sounds, the always puzzling vowels.

They were so different from the Salvic elegance of the Polish I'd heard repeated around me day in and day out. The only phrase that ever stuck in my mind was: dziękuję
But it seems that "thank you" is the most important phrase for any person to know.

We sat in class, and the professor handed out the most beautiful sheet of paper I've ever seen. It was a logophile's catnip.
On it was a list of the most beautiful Greek words I'd ever seen: hesychia, apatheia, apophthegm, metanoia.
Their simple elegance, even apart from their definitions was a wave of verbal beauty washing over the page.

The obvious reason that the song above is so touching is that there's a human being building a castle out of snow. 
First and foremost, it's downright magical and it's hard slash impossible to look away.
But, also, there is so much magic being woven by the words, of all these different languages from all over the world, singing the same song.
And I may never visit Serbia-Croatia, or Thailand, or Malaysia, but hearing their words is like an instant passport into the realms of those kingdoms of men far away.

But often we find that words function more as walls than as gates, more as ways to keep distance than to come close.
--Henri Nouwen

1 comment:

  1. My girls have been listening to the Frozen soundtrack nonstop. (My girls *and* Nini, that is. Do you know how CUTE it is to hear a 4-year-old sing Olaf's "Summer" song?)

    Can't wait to share this version of "Let It Go" with them, and I am touched by your take on language. You've given me beauty to think about...and I thank you!

    Or should that be, dziękuję.