Wednesday, February 2, 2011

el rencor se sienta sobre el corazon como un sopa pesado

Reuters: David Gray
 "You are my lifesaver," says my friend when we sit down to practice Spanish together.

Shaking off reversals, she had meant to start a new life this January.  And then her father died. Her mother, increasingly blind and confused, cannot live alone. 

My friend is lean and energetic, adept at finding the best in her possible worlds - the downsized townhouse so much easier to clean than that big house, for example.  And taking care of her mother?   "But it's a blessing, my cute little mother, she took such good care of me.  It's a privilege to take care of her now." 

I love listening to my friend's sparkling flow of optimism.  I love basking in that affectionate energy.

She clasps my arm, praising a small virtue she thinks I need reminding of. 

"This is what I needed, too," I tell her, smiling into her eyes, patting the back of her hand. I have needed not only her bright presence, not just the encouragement of working together to gather language skills (both of us looking still hopefully toward a next possible world). 

But the Spanish itself I needed.  And not just so I can make up satisfying (not necessarily grammatical) proverbs featuring the always useful sopa.  Which is, for you monolinguals, the name of the animal up above and, as in this case, it is a sopa very pesado sitting with all its weight upon the top of my poor corazon.  Which is what rencor feels like to me.

¡Síall this is good vocabulary practice, no?

But also I'm finding the sun-drenched mental climate necessary for moving my mouth into Spanish shapes a good remedy to the cloistered soliloquies I otherwise keep muttering, drippingly, in clipped quasi-Victorian-British stanzas.

In place of "Gr-r-r there go . . . " I can roll my tongue around  el gorro de baño (which means, innocently, "shower cap").  When faced with this moment's particular "What's the Latin name for 'parsley'?" and all other daily games of 20 questions, that tend to drive me around the bend, I can innerly chant my conjugations ~
 hablo, hablas, habla,
hablamos, habláis, hablan
before answering - remembering we all talk - hablamos.  All the time.  It's harmless.  It's what we humans do.  Hablamos, habla, hablo.

So that more and more behind-beyond the "wise talk of the kind of weather, sort of season, time of year," I'm sending my soul south to all those countries sunny the year round, full of orange trees and bright blue skies and the warmly generous spirit of mi casa es su casa which mi corazón so sorely needs.


Lisa B. said...

Darling Emma J, remember when, last August, we had lemonade?

I miss that. It's nice to hear your voice again, crying out of the wilderness.

Emma J said...

I remember. That was good lemonade. And seeing you, even better.

Linnea said...

David's motto has always been "Mi casa is su casa." So, when are you coming home?

Emma J said...

Linnea - I <3 yu!

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