Much as I regret it, I am basically monolingual. I have studied other languages though, and that has given me a tiny glimpse of how different languages can create different world views, maybe even different worlds. The first time I noticed this was with a couple of translations for the word 'enough'.
Take Italian, for example, where the word is basta. I'm sure the word gets used in all the ways we use enough, but it is seems to me basta is a word designed to be a command. Its collection of plosives and sibilants, its emphasis on the first syllable, and its matched pair of vowel sounds all make it a surprising combination of bark and hiss that stops people in their tracks, telling us the speaker has reached her limit. Basta! Try it, if you haven't already. Isn't that satisfying? Sure, yelling 'enough' is clear; we know a person means business when he does so, but the sounds just don't have the same power, if you ask me. Enough is a gentler, perhaps more objective word. Only one voiced consonant (and n's don't exactly strike fear in a heart) an iambic rhythm, no, this word doesn't really command attention in the same way. It implies a middle ground, an acceptable, Goldilocks state, neither too much nor too little, no extremes or excess. It's a comforting word, in a way I would never imagine basta could be, though maybe fluent Italian speakers would disagree.
Then there's the Irish word, which is go leor. This word has actually made it into common usage in English, as the word galore, but its meaning is hardly that of restraint or a middle ground. As used in English anyway, galore suggests opulence, extravagance, or at least an elegant sufficiency far beyond a Puritanical idea of mere adequacy. I suggest this difference of opinion of what constitutes a sufficiency illustrates a key distinction between the world views of the Saxon and the Celt.
I've had a number of experiences recently that have me using the word galore. Something about this season calls for it, I think. The explosion of growing things hasn't even reached its peak yet, and I'm already overwhelmed by a sense of exuberant life all around me. Blossoms and scents are cascading all over the city, and as usual my seasonal amnesia has me marveling, as if I'm seeing all this for the first time. A sense of rebirth is easy for me to tap into at this time of year. Guilt and regret may not entirely lose their hold on me, but their power definitely wanes as I wander about an earth getting on with the 'business of life'. Spring brings out the Celt in me, where too much is never enough.
As usual, my attempt to organize my photos according to an intended narrative was thwarted by Blogger. So in no particular order, please enjoy my photos galore.
This clump of my little friends were the first ones to tip me off that it might already be violet season. I wouldn't even have gone looking for them for another week or two if it weren't for this bunch. They're in a very protected area, and are clearly early scouts for the tribe, which just makes it all the better for me.
Having gotten the heads up, I checked in with my Central Park field, to find that while most of the blossoms haven't opened fully yet, they are definitely making a strong showing, and what's more, there is less tall stuff obscuring their presence than I'm used to seeing here. I feel like I lucked out and got tickets to an excellent preview. I'll be back many more times to see this show.
Elsewhere in the park I saw this white violet, and below, you'll find a photo of a yellow one, that grew nearby. One of the reason I love violets so much is they always feel like treasure I've come across by accident, even when I know where and when to look. I also just live their apparent enthusiasm. Galore comes up a lot when I look at violets too.
Camille and I are coming to a better understanding all the time when it comes to photos of people. Witness this shot I took of my friend Burton (in front of the Metropolitan Opera) when he was here for a visit last week. Reconnecting with old friends (Burton and I have known each other for nearly a quarter of a century) takes on an additional sense of blessing in Spring, for some reason.
Camille and I still have some work to do reaching an understanding of color. But I remain optimistic.
Easter morning I was invited to have brunch with my friends Jeff and Genna. For once I managed to snap a photo, in focus, of handsome Jeff before he noticed and made a goofy face. It was not to happen ever again that day. I am pleased nonetheless.
This was my first time seeing Chula (yes, Chula; she came with that name from the pound) after she spent a week in my apartment. I didn't get quite the cuddling I was hoping for, but she, like her roommate Jeff, allowed me a photo of her without a struggle for a change. All the photos I have from her week here are of the back of her (usually blurry) head.
A festive Spring table setting.
My beloved Genna, talking on the phone to her family in Ohio, just before her nephew, my little buddy Rhys, asked to speak to me. Getting to know and love Genna's family has been one of the many blessings of our friendship.
Here is what I hope is a better photo than the one I took last year, of a bush that puts out an intoxicating scent. It smells the way a lemon drop (the candy, not the drink) tastes, if that makes sense. I still have no idea what it is, but I've now found it in both Central Park and close to my home. Sunday I think I stood next to the CP bush for close to twenty minutes inhaling deeply. I must get back soon, I don't know how long these blossoms last. Does anyone know what it is? I want to plant huge banks of it in my yet-to-be garden.
Right or wrong, it seems to me like the daffodils are later than usual this year, and the violets earlier than usual, resulting in a combination I've never noticed before. Daffodils have never interested me much in the past, but I find myself rethinking that policy this year. They've been spectacular.
Perhaps this image more than any other will benefit from enlarging.
Because it's early spring, I'm able to enjoy the austere beauty of winter trees, and blossoms at the same time.
I caught my beloved Melissa by accident in this image, but I loved the effect, even if she's cropped more than I would have chosen. This photo reminds me of something else, and I can't quite place what it is. Is it the cover of a Duran Duran album? The one containing the song "Rio"? Well, whatever it is, I love the way even this sliver of an image shows you the way Melissa radiates light.
And look here! I'm even managing to take a photo in focus of me with Melissa! And I don't even have that "I'm concentrating really really hard to hold the camera steady" look. Camille and I are making great strides. Can anyone tell me what this flower is? I love how this tree seems to be spot-lit.
This image perhaps best epitomizes this winter-into-spring time of year.
Near Bethesda fountain there was a moment I found myself standing between skilled acrobats with an impressive show (and polished patter), and an equally skilled string ensemble playing Handel's The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba. I found the acrobats first, and one of them said "if you see something you can't do, make some noise." There followed, naturally, several good excuses to do so. As I was listening to the strings, I realized that gymnastics and chamber music were both things I had dabbled in - and loved - at some point. That dabbling gave me a greater understanding of just how often I could have been making noise while watching both groups. It was humbling, but also pleasing somehow. I was able to keep the "you're a dilettante" voice in my head largely muffled.
I hope the sap is rising for you, and the season of new beginnings is inspiring joy and optimism.