Tag Archives: spanish

Where In The World Are You Going?

Just a few weeks ago I sat in the airport listening intently to understand even one word of the Spanish announcement, I felt a rise of excitement and anxiety as we ventured into places unfamiliar, extraño, if you will.

Mostly the answer was no. No, I did not understand any of the words despite years of avid Spanish study.

China Town in Mexico City. International, baby!
China Town in Mexico City. International, baby!

It was disappointing, but not surprising. I hadn’t practiced the language for years except to say, “Me encanta la lengua pero no lo hablo mucho. Por eso no hablo bien.”

Which of course sounds pretty good because I can pop that sentence out like a boss… because it’s mostly the only Spanish I use anymore.

It means, “I love the language but I don’t speak it much. That’s why I don’t speak it well.” Yeah…

But life is never linear and what we believe we “are” is more location than definition. Wait, let me explain what I mean by that.

So often we look around ourselves, we evaluate our circumstances by what perceive we’ve achieved, how our day played out and maybe, if you’re like me, we judge who we are based on our most current results.

As if what appears today is a definition of who we are. You know, like, “I don’t speak Spanish well today, which means I don’t speak Spanish well.” Which is another way of saying, “I suck.” Unfortunate and inelegant.

Harsh, I know

The reality of the situation was that I had, indeed, studied Spanish for a lot of years in earnest. I’d traveled to Mexico and Guatemala with the specific goal of immersion study. I had done the work.

Also true was the fact that I hadn’t practiced it much in recent years. It was hard to speak it and even harder to understand the words spilling out of a static-y sound system in a busy Southern California airport.

As our trip to San Miguel unfolded, each day I practiced speaking and trying with all my might to understand what is a truly lovely language. Every day I discovered anew how much I enjoy it and, to my delight, I discovered the skill was never lost. It was there to be rediscovered all along.

Our circumstances are in no way a definition of who we are. Who we are is a manifestation of a graceful Universe. We are expressions of a limitless God.

Further, our circumstances are simply feedback and nothing more. They are either encouraging us further along the path we’re on or begging us to choose something different, something more worthy of us.

The more I tuned in, the more my brain cooperated, spitting out words I’d long since forgotten right on demand. It was fun. I was encouraged. But perhaps most importantly I was reminded not to judge myself so harshly. Where I am, is not a definition of who I am, it’s merely a location. And I am not a tree, I can move any time I choose.

Where will you go next?

NaPoWriMo

Ven Aqui Por Favor

It comes to me in Spanish,
As these things cannot come
in one’s native tongue.
I have to work for it.
I have to look away
and keep my eyes unfocused.
Because if I stare too long,
I’ll just go blind.
It is on the wind.
It is in the fleeting moments.
And when I capture the scent on the breeze,
it is gone almost as quickly as it comes.
And it comes to me in Spanish.
And I can mostly understand it.
Sometimes.
But if I listen closely in my dreams,
someday it might make sense to me.

Ten Things To Love About Costa Rica

It is not uncommon for me to have a bit of a crash and burn after an event, a stressful situation or a big trip. Thus, I found myself on the treadmill this morning with little to no energy. Even writing my creative pages fizzled out after just a page and a half. While my crashes could frustrate me, and often have, I have learned to trust the crash. My body is simply telling me that it’s time to relax a little, gear down for a couple of days, take advantage of the flexibility that my life organically has built into it.

With little energy to spare this morning, I bring you Ten Things To Love About Costa Rica

1. The people. I have traveled a bit in my life, and even though I have seen vistas to boggle the mind and ancient ruins that emanated energy and magic, it is always the people that I love, and those of Costa Rica are lovely in all ways.

2. Panaderias. Not singular to Costa Rica, but found in all Latin American countries, I love me a good panaderia with their pastries that melt in your mouth.

3. The landscape is magical. The areas go from green, rolling hills to wild rain forest jungles. Backgrounds include pristine beaches and live volcanoes. Costa Rica has it all!

Image
The Coati – Photo Credit: Wikipedia

4. The Kioro Hotel near La Fortuna. Beautiful suites, natural, healing hot springs, in-room hot tubs, and what I like to believe was their mascot, a racoon-like creature with a long nose who passed by our door not long after check-in.

5. The language. I know, I know, all the Latin American countries speak Spanish, and most neighborhoods in L.A., but, I don’t know, they were just so friendly and so helpful and so I love that they speak it beautifully.

6. I loved that on our day of service our tour guide and driver were as dedicated to getting the work done as anyone else, perhaps more.

7. At least from my short sojourn there, I detected none of the normal machismo I often attribute to Latinos. There was definitely an air of equality and cooperation.

8. The country was clean, well tended, with a focus on recycling and conservation. Costa Rica is a “green” country in more ways than one.

9. I loved that their names tend to lean toward European descent. It was not uncommon for Allen to be our waiter or Jessica to take us to our table.

10. I loved that I found people living in Costa Rica from all over the world. It is a testament to the nature of the natives that one goes there, and truly feels at home. 

Image