Language continues to intrigue me; now, how we rely on verbs and tenses. Can we think in the future before we learn to speak it? Does tomorrow only exist once we learn the word?
When I had to learn the subjunctive in Italian, it was not only the music of a foreign language that helped me along, but a song by Fossati, Carta da Decifrare (A Map to Decipher):
Io se avessi una penna ti scriverei If I had a pen I would write you
Se avessi più fantasia ti disegnerei If I had imagination I would design you
Se fossi un guardiano ti guarderi If I were a guardian I would guard you
Se fossi un cacciatore non ti caccerei If I were a hunter I would not hunt you
Se fossi un sacerdote come un orazione If I were a priest, like a sermon,
Con la lingua fra i denti ti pronuncerei With my tongue against my teeth, I would pronounce you
Se fossi un sacerdote come un salmo segreto If I were a priest, like a secret psalm,
Con le mani sulla bocca ti canterei With my hands over my mouth, I would sing you
E invece come un ladro, come un assassino And instead, like a thief, like an assassin
Vengo di giorno ad accostare il tuo cammino I come by day to find your way
Per rubarti il passo, il passo e la figura To rob you of your pace, your steps, your shape
E amarli di notte quando il sonno dura And love them by night when everyone sleeps
E amarti per ore, ore, ore And love you for hours, and hours, and hours
E ucciderti all’alba di altro amore And kill you at the dawn of another love
E ucciderti all’alba di altro amore And kill you at the dawn of another love.
Melodrama actually works in Italian. I guess that’s why they use their hands so much.
Of another nuking: this morning I cooked oats in the microwave for the first time. Half of it ended up scattered inside the microwave, and, on cooling, turned into rubbery sheets of the strangest texture. But what was left in the bowl was good enough for breakfast. And I was reminded of some comfort in the smell of porridge cooking. It was my father’s favourite meal.