Only halfway through a not-so-dry martini and a BBC article (link to follow), the issue arises, loud and clear, punctuated by a horrible mistake within the article, and we all know the BBC is to be the pinnacle of articulation, clarification, matriculation, umm…wait a minute there, Minoux…
(It’s okay because I meant to do it. I think therefore I am. Chicken-egg. Etc.)
Humanity is emotion that is expressed, thought and feeling and reason and insanity that is expressed. How we express emotion is limited by: 1-our language, and 2-our knowledge of that language.
Here we have the BBC article clickbait-titled “15 emotions you never knew you had” (how the hell do you know I haven’t?) http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170126-the-untranslatable-emotions-you-never-knew-you-had If you can manage to read that article and find your way back here, please do. I admire your “sisu”.
(Sorry I don’t know how to change the link so you see only the pretty little words that come before it, I’m 32 years old and have been busy with a helluva life thanks! ;))
The thing is, we know we’ve had these emotions. It’s just that it took us English speakers about 30 sentences to explain it (if we could). The point is, a proper, pure language would allow people the chance of explaining their current emotion at a speed that would allow the listener to actually respond to the feeling before it changed.
Since I’m studying Japanese, those words jumped out at me. I can’t (nor I do want to) count the number of times I’ve sighed “natsukashii” aloud in Canada to a response of absolute nothingness AKA WTF? It’s not something that should be explained when said. Just nevermind, 30 sentences doesn’t cut it and that’s why there’s a single word in Japanese.
Moving on to “wabi-sabi”. As I glue together the pieces of my life to start anew, I appreciate this term once more. The appreciation of the beauty in something once broken, or so worn. It is more beautiful once that has occurred. The BBC article horribly, horribly misappropriates the concept of “mono-no-aware” in its photo caption claiming to fit “wabi-sabi.” No. Not the same. The fleeting splendour of a cherry blossom is mono-no-aware. The appreciation, awareness, joy and sadness at the existence and transience of beauty. Such short-lived cherry blossoms, at their peak so briefly. A beautiful blush, snowflakes in the palm, and on and on. If you don’t have it you won’t know how to describe it. Mono-no-aware.
But what do I know, broken, a bit glued back together, watching this world, hearing “saudade” in the silence. It’s enough to make me keep reading about the great divides in our human thought patterns created by our upbringings, AKA languages (and cultures).
Please read, enjoy, be aware of how our language affects the way we live our lives, and change things to be as you wish. Your “sukha” may depend on it.
For your further emotional-intellectual development: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways
Just beware of multi-syllabic vocabularisms: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20170126-the-hidden-danger-of-euphemisms