Archive for the ‘pathwords’ Category

Pathwords : Tenalach

March 2, 2015

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Tenalach (Irish): “The relationship one has with the land, air, and water. A deep connection that allows one to literally hear the Earth sing.” I’ve recently adopted this word, and bring it to mind when I go for walks in the woods or down by the beach. And now I can hear the Earth sing!

I’ve often wondered what my life would have been like if I had been brought up owning this word in my everyday language. I would have been a lot more mindful of how the earth connects with us as we pass by her.

Pathwords – DEPAYSEMENT

January 2, 2015

 

pathwords - depaysement 001

Though  I could use the word “homesick”, dépaysement has a richer meaning. In French, it is technically used for “out of one’s country”.  But in an emotional context, it goes deeper.  In fact, sometimes it’s good news. It’s that feeling of being far away from home, butterflies in the tummy, too strange. Sometimes when I travel I get a sick feeling, wishing I was back home in my cozy little house again. Yet sometimes, I’ve been very far from home and felt perfectly at home. Castles in the south of France – yes, I’m sure I’ve been here in a past life. My first time in New York City  I knew my way around. Sometimes the very strangeness of a place thrills me. Yet sometimes, strangeness throws me into a feeling of despair, as if bits of myself have faded away, and I can’t breathe, can’t ground.

I like that there is a word for this, at least in another language. It means I’m not crazy, that this is a shared human experience.

Pathwords: Bon Courage

November 28, 2014

bon courage 001

As a bilingual Anglophone in Quebec, there are words I use in either language that just don’t translate in the same spirit or intention. It isn’t unusual, therefore, for us to drop a French word or term in the middle of an English conversation, knowing the other person will catch the meaning immediately. “Bon Courage” is one of those words. I’ll use it when wishing good for someone going through an ordeal – an exam, a move, a confrontation, a medical procedure, even a bereavement. It’s more than luck, since it isn’t luck that will get you through the ordeal but your own inner reserves of courage, heart, stamina, and the work you have put into it. And when it is said to me, I go off feeling encouraged , knowing I have friends at my back, sending me good vibes.

Pathwords – Iktsuarpok

November 14, 2014

 

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In this new bookart, I’m collecting interesting words from other languages to adopt as my own. Perhaps not to drop into casual conversations; that might appear a bit affected. But the English language suffers from not having an equivalent word for many things, particularly, I have found, words that describe our soul. Words shape our selves, our souls. They make us see and feel things in different ways. They connect us to other people by sharing parts of ourselves, if only by saying “I know that feeling!”

Ikstuarpok is an Inuit work meaning “to keep looking outside to see if someone is coming”.  I know that feeling too well. It drives me crazy. Every five minutes I’m looking out the window to see if a friend has arrived in my driveway yet, or down the street, if I know their car. Sometimes, it’s with restless anticipation, looking forward to an evening with friends.  Sometimes, as in a service call, it’s with annoyance. An entire day can be wasted in restless waiting, no matter how busy I keep myself, or how much I accomplish while waiting. My eye constantly drifts over to the window, every sound grabs my attention.

And a few times, it has been with crushing fear. Which I imagine would  be the case for the Inuit waiting for a loved one to return home on the frozen tundra, a blizzard, and whatever other dangers loom in their land. The horrible feeling that something has gone wrong. It’s a universal feeling,

Pathwords

November 12, 2014

 

pathword1 001

 

I’ve started a new bookart. It’s smaller than my last ones – 11” x 9”, opening to 11″ x 18″ on double spreads. I don’t know yet if this is the opening page, but it is the first one I’ve finished. Not that I ever  “finish”. I tend to like an unfinished look, which tends to go more with the mixed media collage techniques I use. Here I have used paint, magazine cut outs, paint skin, and hand painted unryhu papers.