Kaze Hikaru 風光る
(noun) This wonderful, untranslatable German word describes the feeling of homesickness for a far away land, a place you have never visited. Do not confuse this with the english word, wanderlust; Fernweh is much more profound, it is the feeling of an unsatisfied urge to escape and discover new places, almost a sort of sadness. You miss a place you have never experienced, as opposed to lusting over it or desiring it like wanderlust. You are seeking freedom and self-discovery, but not a particular home.
This week’s Sumerian sign is ĝeš, which means tree or wood. It’s an important sign that was used a lot.
ĝeš is one of a collection of signs that are written but not spoken as silent signifiers of a noun’s type or class. This sign often appears before objects made out of wood, like weapons or tools.
So in isolation, ĝeš would be pronounced, but if it came before another noun, it would probably be unspoken, meant only as a signal to the reader to help interpret the following sign, since many signs had multiple meanings and pronunciations.
There are a lot of signs that do this. There’s a sign that appears before gods’ names. There’s a sign that goes before birds or bugs (I think maybe the Sumerians classified flying insects as a kind of bird maybe?), a sign that goes before things made of stone, a sign that goes before people’s names, and many more. There’s also a sign that goes after place names.
When we transliterate these signs, we write them in a superscript to show that they’re silent. For instance, we’d write ĝešaš-te to mean (wooden) chair, even though in the original cuneiform the signs are all the same size.
The closest analogy to English writing, I guess, would be like using capital letters for proper nouns. It’s a way to signal something important to the reader.
n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.
Tenalach, a word used in the hills and mountains in the west of Ireland, allows one to literally hear the earth sing.
Ancient Greek Word of the Day
Yuimaru ゆいまる is an Okinawan concept that is rooted in old work-sharing practices where all villagers cooperated to help each other planting or harvesting crops.