THE SUMMER DAY
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver in New and Selected Poems
Song: “The Origin of Love” by Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch Original Broadway Cast Recording)
I am fascinated by languages, and particularly words that cannot be easily or directly translated from their native tongue. (Is there a word to describe these words?! Some language should look into that.)
Like, sobremesa, in Spanish, which is the act of sitting around and talking once one as finished a meal. Or hygge, in Danish, which essentially means to be cozy when its cold outside.
In an effort to learn a few other Danish words, I came across arbejdsglæde, which more or less means gladness at work. Shocking that English hasn’t come up with a word like this.
Japanese, however, has karoshi which basically means death by overwork.
This happiness at work blog, not suprisingly written by a Dane, talks a little bit more about arbejdsglæde.
Say that three times fast.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’” Jack Keroac, On The Road.