Pieces of THE puzzle

“The phenomenon of the encounter is momentary… In discontinuous, momentary flashes of light, it liberates human beings from the one-sidedness and seclusion of the ego, if only for a moment. Unlike the human will, which always desires to define things and give them meaning or a place in history, the state of the world unto itself always teaches us that things are uncertain and indefinite.”

“If a bell is struck, the sound reverberates into the distance. Similarly, if a point filled with mental energy is painted on a canvas (or a wall), it sends vibrations into the surrounding unpainted space… Yohaku [resonant space] transcends objects and words, leading people to silence and causing them to breathe infinity.”

Expressive action begins with sensing a rupture in existence. The desire to eliminate this gap and become fused with existence itself becomes the will to create art.”

“All things in the universe start from a point and return to a point. One point calls up a new point, and extends into a line. Everything is a scene of gathering and dispersal of points and lines. Existence is a point and life is a line, so I am also a point and a line.”

Lee Ufan

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Vector style

“The term ‘vector’ comes from geometry and refers to a line of fixed length and direction but no fixed position. Consider the way ideas move through our minds and bodies. There is no fixed position. There’s only the improvisational nature of recall. Thought vector: the relationship between a geometry and a geography of information. Sound vector: think lines of flight in the digital now. Vector of a sound in motion: wave propagation and particles of thought. The mean machine of how we perceive language floats across the scenario, its flight is of fixed maximum length, but potentially in any direction. This is the freestyle. A vector has a fixed property and an indeterminate property. One could say length is fixed but axis is not. Strictly speaking, that’s a vector. But by extension, one could think more abstractly of a vector as a relation between a determinate and an indeterminate property. The virtual dimension to any vector is the range of possible movements of which it is capable. This is the wildstyle. Check the flow. ”

Paul D. Miller

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There are at least 250,000 words in the English language. However, to think that English – or any language – could hold enough expression to convey the entirety of the human experience is as arrogant of an assumption as it is naive.

Here are a few examples of instances where other languages have found the right word and English simply falls speechless.

1. Toska

Russian – Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

2. Mamihlapinatapei

Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) – “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start”

3. Jayus

Indonesian – “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh”

4. Iktsuarpok

Inuit – “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

5. Litost

Czech – Milan Kundera, author ofThe Unbearable Lightness of Being, remarked that “As for the meaning of this word, I have looked in vain in other languages for an equivalent, though I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can understand the human soul without it.” The closest definition is a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.

6. Kyoikumama

Japanese – “A mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement”

7. Tartle

Scottish – The act of hestitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.

8. Ilunga

Tshiluba (Southwest Congo) – A word famous for its untranslatability, most professional translators pinpoint it as the stature of a person “who is ready to forgive and forget any first abuse, tolerate it the second time, but never forgive nor tolerate on the third offense.”

9. Prozvonit

Czech – This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money. In Spanish, the phrase for this is “Dar un toque,” or, “To give a touch.”

10. Cafuné

Brazilian Portuguese – “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.”

11. Schadenfreude

German – Quite famous for its meaning that somehow other languages neglected to recognize, this refers to the feeling of pleasure derived by seeing another’s misfortune. I guess “America’s Funniest Moments of Schadenfreude” just didn’t have the same ring to it.

12. Torschlusspanik

German – Translated literally, this word means “gate-closing panic,” but its contextual meaning refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages.”

13. Wabi-Sabi

Japanese – Much has been written on this Japanese concept, but in a sentence, one might be able to understand it as “a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.”

14. Dépaysement

French – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.

15. Tingo

Pascuense (Easter Island) – Hopefully this isn’t a word you’d need often: “the act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.”

16. Hyggelig

Danish – Its “literal” translation into English gives connotations of a warm, friendly, cozy demeanor, but it’s unlikely that these words truly capture the essence of a hyggelig; it’s likely something that must be experienced to be known. I think of good friends, cold beer, and a warm fire.

17. L’appel du vide

French – “The call of the void” is this French expression’s literal translation, but more significantly it’s used to describe the instinctive urge to jump from high places.

18. Ya’aburnee

Arabic – Both morbid and beautiful at once, this incantatory word means “You bury me,” a declaration of one’s hope that they’ll die before another person because of how difficult it would be to live without them.

19. Duende

Spanish – While originally used to describe a mythical, spritelike entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature, its meaning has transitioned into referring to “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.” There’s actually a nightclub in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, where I teach, named after this word.

20. Saudade

Portuguese – One of the most beautiful of all words, translatable or not, this word “refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost.” Fado music, a type of mournful singing, relates to saudade.

Matador Abroad – http://www.altalang.com

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According to the many-worlds theory, posited by physicist Hugh Everett in 1957, despite the fact that individuals observe time as linear, there is an unfathomable number of universes, each supporting parallel timelines that each have the potential to converge and influence outcomes in the others.

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Uma vez vocalizado, já não dá para voltar atrás. O objectivo marcou o acto, a vontade ditou a acção… A intenção esteve presente, a energia despertou efeitos, o momento já passou. E agora, só resta a memória. O que ficou para trás, já está dito.

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I have had too many cycles in this piece of mass.

Can’t wake up without knowing that something new is going to happen, without feeling that my routine is about to be broken. Can’t go to bed unless there are any creatures under it. I need to believe I can change all the details within my existence.

I can look again to the same places and faces over and over again, having the same ideas and questioning myself about the same points. But I just can’t do it anymore without contemplating a different picture and framing, each time. I keep forgeting why I went to those places, in the first place…

And everytime I think about this, I know that soon something will happen, and it will make me be sure that it all makes perfect sense.

Even if the cycle is getting shorter.

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Feels like eternity

“The stars cleave the sky.
Yet for us they rest,
And their race-course high
Is a shining nest!

The hours hurry on.
But where is thy flight,
Soft pavilion
Of motionless night?

Earth gives up her trees
To the holy air;
They live in the breeze;
They are saints at prayer!

Summer night, come from God,
On your beauty, I see,
A still wave has flowed
Of eternity!”

George MacDonald

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