Monday, July 21, 2008

Up on the Roof

Around 8:00 this morning, on the roof with coffee and thoughts. I am realizing only now that the direction I face each morning--toward the cerros (hills)--is in fact toward the East. How instinctive and appropriate. The sun is usually not yet up when I am here. Anotrher thing I notice this morning is that even though the sun is up and casting shadows on the page as I write, there are still lights on in the homes on the cerros. It makes sense that the houses here would see the sun before the houses up there-but nonetheless, I think it is interesting. It is all a matter of angles and physics. The other thing I notice too is that there is still a full moon in the west.


Listening now to Teresa Parodi, an Argentinian folksinger with a lovely, slightly gravelly, alto voice. I wrote an article for the international website yesterday with someone else in the house...a most interesting undertaking. We both wrote ahead of meeting together and upon talking realized our mutual frustration with what we had written! We had both done descriptions...not what actually happened at the meeting. Also, neither one of us wanted two separate articles--one in English, one in Spanish--because that is not how the meeting was. There was a constant rubbing together of the two languages and the cultures they represented, in all of their diversity. We wanted the article to represent that too so we wrote it in pairs of paragraphs, English next to Spanish next to English, etc...

One of the things I noticed was that even though we were expressing the same idea, there remained things ¨que no se sueñen¨ in either English or Spanish. Sometimes my writing partner would change the phrasing of the Spanish and I´d be left speechless by this new image or angle or ray of beauty that suddenly appeared that could not be reproduced in English. This AMAZES me. Words do not have equivelents in other languages! Each word in each language is its own statement, of sorts. You can convey a concept or idea in different languages, but not because the words are the same...only because (if) the concept or idea is comprehensible. A word in English and a word in Spanish is not one word...or even one concept... it is two words and multiple concepts. The vocabulary available for using, describing, painting, poet-ing, just increased exponentially...not because anything changed, save that I gained understanding.

I am in awe at moments like this.

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