Tuesday, January 29, 2008

back in the saddle

I'm back. Jack's back. Back in the saddle, on the wagon (actually yes-- I have made January a drink-free month!) ... in the catbird's seat!

[I am not Jack. I am Adrienne. But sometimes it is fun to just spin words fancifully and freely isn't it?]

I took some time away these last few weeks, to take a break, to have some distance, to reflect in a manner that has always been sort of surprisingly fruitful for me-- to figure things out by actively, and then less actively, NOT thinking about them. And yes, as the saying goes, in this case anyway, the "distance made the heart grow stronger." Or "fonder" ... I am not so good with sayings but I LOVE them.

Idioms. The places in language where a culture has made metaphor or another playful combination of words mainstream, and mean something. And that meaning is understood only by that culture-- the meaning, if translated, is lost, and often worse. Sometimes a language change can yield the funniest results...

A few of my favorites:

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
-- how many of us have EVER even seen a 'gift horse'??

Close but no cigar -- what is close about a cigar?

Get down to brass tacks -- I always thought is was "brass tax" but I learned otherwise just yesterday. Now I am even more confused.

Sitting in the catbird seat -- Ahh, I LOVE this seat.

It's raining cats and dogs -- What did THEY ever do?

Til the cows come home -- Why would they ever leave? ... What does 'home' mean to them??

Like a chicken with its head cut off -- This is really not a good thing to be like...

Kill two birds with one stone -- I don't like this one. I think it's sad. And it doesn't sound like a fair fight.

Anyway, there's a lot going on in the world. And a good amount in my world. Presidential election year. Writer's Strike. The really horribly tragic too-soon death of Heath Ledger. Continuing war and terrifying prognoses for our environment and as film director Fernando Meirelles put it, "We're really destroying the planet, but we keep going, keep selling, keep burning... It's like we can't see." Numbness and blindness in the form of our preference for looking at Britney Spear's latest sad sorry antics, as well as the media's devotion to the coverage of such relatively IRRELEVANT 'news.' Meirelles made the excellent City of God and The Constant Gardener, and his latest film, Blindness, based on Saramago's parable offers a gruesome depiction of the dangers of 'looking' but not 'SEEING.'

Not that I'm saying we should all be watching CNN and emotionally consumed by the world's infinite and really-hard-to-figure-out problems all the time-- I don't think that. I think sometimes actually you need to sort of get away from a thing to really SEE and understand it.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Great to see you back, Jack!

And a wonderful, funny, provocative post, too. Just remember that sooner or later, absinthe makes the day grow longer.