Words once in common use sound archaic. And the names of the famous dead as well: Camillus, Caeso, Volesus, Dentatus…Scipio and Cato…Augustus…Hadrian and Antoninus, and…
Everything faces so quickly, turns into legend, and soon oblivion covers it.
And those are the ones who shone. The rest–”unknown, unasked-for” a minute after death. What is “eternal” fame? Emptiness.
Then what should we work for?
Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech. A resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 4, #33 (Translated by Gregory Hays)
In a recent edition of BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent:
Even in your own language, it is difficult to catch accurately the words of a song if they are not written down in front of you, and in France, which imports most of its music from the US or UK, there is even a word for the appropriation of lyrics.
It is “yaourt”, or “to yoghurt”.
You start singing confidently… and then trail off into inarticulate “yoghurting” when your lexicon runs dry.
From “Honey Pie” by Haruki Murakami:
Sayako said, “To understand something and to put that something into a form you can see with your own eyes are two completely different things. If you could manage to do both equally well, though, living would be a lot simpler.”
Available in the collection After the Quake: Stories