17:00

The world dashes about outside my window

the cold air pressing its nose against the pane.

I sit in near silence, warming my hands and face and toes.

My driver is sweet and obliging,

talking of weather and daily generalities.

In his speech I detect an accent, 

sleeping among the English words,

tingeing them in a strange hue.

He asks me a question, and I reply,

“Je comprends ce que tu dit.”

His eyes dart to me in the rearview mirror,

a new light shining in them,

the light that bursts forth in recognition of a kindred spirit.

A moment later, the dam erupts and words strung together

trip over each other in his haste to hear his mother tongue.

Rapid fire, back and forth we send our comments.

How much I’ve missed this language,

this tongue as familiar as my own. 

The conversation ends abruptly

when at my destination we’ve arrived,

I’m at loathe to leave and still I bid farewell

in the hopes that I have raised his spirit,

and given joy to a man who might otherwise

be seen as incoherent.

-22

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La Vie Est Belle

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“La Vie est belle, et vous êtes comme elle! Plus qu’hier, moins que demain.”

For those of you who do not speak French, this translates to “Life is beautiful, and you are like her. More than yesterday, less than tomorrow.” I found this on a stone bench while I was climbing around the tower of Le Sacre Coeur at the Basilica of Saint Peter in Paris.

I was struck by the power a simple saying like this could have. How many people walk by the bench each day, and read the quote? Thousands perhaps? If it changes one life, I wonder how the repercussions play out. When I come across things like this, it gives me hope that our world is not completely lost. We have the power as society to encourage and embolden the younger generations to greatness, yet there is still so much hate and violence cycling around.

We have a long way to go.

But at least there is hope.

-22

Deductions Anyone?

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Pretend for a moment that you’ve been brainwashed and lost your memories. You wake up in a room, look around, and try to figure what type of person lives there. The catch? It’s your room, you just don’t know it. Time to play Deductions with Sherlock!

The photo above is of my school desk. I figured I would give myself a visual to work with.

Overall, she is scatterbrained, moving quickly from one thing to the next, as evidenced by the sheer volume of stuff on her desk. A fan of books obviously, due to the stack on the left and the top right corner. More than that, the books are of many different natures; Big books, little books, old books, new books. She speaks French, or can at least read French – Camus’ L’Étranger.

Wherever she lives, it must be cold, since she has piled a beanie, scarf, gloves and socks in the middle of the space. She’s probably artsy – the camera for photography, pens and pencils and sketchbook for drawing. Is family important? There is only one photo on the desk – what is being hidden?

So an artsy book lover who lives somewhere with a cold winter. Describes me pretty well. What do you all see? And what does your desk (or room) say about you?

22

Je Veux Les Langues

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “By Heart.”

Zaz’s Je Veux

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This was one of the first songs I ever listened to in French, and the second I heard it, I was hooked.

I began studying French in 8th grade, so I was about 13 years old. Little did I know then how much a part of my life this new language would become. Five years later and thousands of hours of studying later, I can say with sufficient certainty that I am fluent in the French language.

I adore Zaz’s music because I can feel the emotion even before listening carefully to the words. Even my mum enjoys listening to the CDs and she doesn’t speak any French! Zaz’s songs never fail to bring me out of a bad mood, since they are songs that I can belt out full force and dance to in my room. Whenever they are on shuffle, I basically drop everything and have a dance party for one.

Je Veux is probably the reason I continued to pursue the French language. I loved learning the new intricacies and nuances of the language that seemed so much more mysterious and beautiful than English. I have since now ceased my studies and moved on to Italian, but French holds a very special place in my heart, all thanks to the voice of ZAZ.

Do you have a song that you keep coming back to? Why?

Or, is there a language you’ve learned that started out as a ‘to-do’ but became a ‘because I want to’?

-22