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Showing posts from January, 2009

Inaugurating a New Season

I was raised to love and honor my country--and all its people. I was raised by parents who walked into the civil rights movement quietly and unquestioningly, because their faith and their patriotism taught them that we are, indeed, all equal and all live within one great divinity that can never be fully described even as it can be experienced. At age 15, from the altar of a small church in Mississippi, my mother shared with her congregation why she knew segregation was wrong. As young newlyweds, my parents were the organizers of the first multiracial church youth camp, where African American, Latino, and Anglo teenagers all came together--and had fun, too.

It is clear that the history of racism in the United States has many a despairing chapter, that there was much recorded for posterity of the inexcusable and unforgivable treatment of people of color by people of shades of "white," but this is a good day to remember that there were bright chapters in this story. Chapters t…

New Vocabulary Word (especially for translators)

Anyone who has lived his or her life in more than one language, anyone who has been not only lost, but also stuck in translation, can relate to this!

Idiostatic: Adjective that describes a word or phrase that cannot be accurately translated into another language without losing its meaning, its subtlety, style and/or its effect.

An example in English:
"I look forward to," probably the most static of our idiostatic phrases.

An example in Spanish:
The word, pesado, or if you are in Spain, pesao.
It is a loaded word in Spanish, and becomes utterly defiant when one tries to wrestle it into English, porque es, bueno, es demasiao pesao.

If you can think of other idiostatic words or phrases, let's post them!

Text copyright Ysabel de la Rosa, 2008.

For the Children

of Gaza.
According to the BBC, more than 205 children have died in the Israeli attack on Gaza. One newscast I saw showed a Palestinian father kissing his recently killed son good bye. His wife and other child had already been buried. This unimaginable reality--no less real for being something I could not imagine or think should or could happen-- reminds me of a poster I kept on my wall during high school. It said:

"War never determines who is right, only who is left."

Beauty without Compromise

That is what Winter consistently teaches me: beauty without compromise. Never more true than in the North Woods of Minnesota, where I found myself in late December. Such cold: 14 degrees below zero. Such snow: 12 inches in 24 hours. A walk outside for a thin-blooded Southerner like me was tough going. Breathing the frigid air made me feel like I had dry ice packed in my lungs. The cold found its biting way through my layer on layer of miracle material. But, those are distant facts now. What stays with me is the memory of the Beauty--the great, great beauty of the well-wintered North, its whiteness and wildness preserved.


Highly recommended: Grand Ely Lodge and all things to see and do in the town of Ely, MN, and Wintergreen Dog Sledding.