Tuesday is Prayer Day: To Odin and For Moe
Yesterday, in Volume One of Monday's Words Day, the subject was poshlost. At least it was eventually the subject. I am known for my ability to amble to the point.
But poshlost is a good word, indeed. It is Russian and was used in its context yesterday in a quote from Nabokov. Then, as words are wont to do, it popped up again that very evening. I had occasion to use a descriptive word for some of the headlines re: the French conflagration. I couldn't think of a one word explanation off hand -- which may be a sure sign of impending dementia or just that a foreign expression may better serve. This is especially the case if you are forced to use a whole long explanation where, if you had it, just one word would do.
For example, I am fond of the French word engagement because it seems to have tones and connotations of intensity that our very same word doesn't have. Thus, one has to say engagement when necessary and just let people think you're a living example of poshlost when you do it. C'est la vie, non?
Scrounging through my prayer list for today's subject post, I hadn't found anything suitable. And then I noticed Good and Happy on my site meter and reminded myself I'd wanted to blogroll her earlier...it slipped through the synapses last time. Traipsing over there, what do I see, but...a prayer! And not just any prayer, either. A prayer which uses poshlost, would you believe it?
A European Prayer for the ParadigmGood and Happy cites Die Zeit, via MaxedOutMama. The latter has only the original German, which I cannot read. I'm sure the former does, too, which makes it even less useful for we who are uni-lingual. Teach 'em all Amuricun, I always say...well, not really. I mean what's the point of saying something so provincial, so poshlust, when everyone is already busy learning American English. Even the English.
Please, Odin, we pray, let it be that the classic Marxist interpretation is applicable in these riot events just over the Alsace. We want to see social unrest whose causes can be fought with more money, more programs, more efficient campaigns of poshlost and policy. However -- and here our Prussian accuracy and rigor blessedly kick in -- this must be precisely demonstrated.
In order to exclude unpleasant surprises.
But is that lovely little satire German to the toes or what? And socialist, to boot.
My granddaughter is learning prayers at the little Jewish pre-school she goes to. She likes the ones she's learned and will recite them at odd times. The other day, she was saying one while her dad helped her wash her hands. Intrigued, he asked her about prayers, and about God. Geneva promptly told him there were two gods. When he demurred and said there was only one, Geneva looked at him with pity: "Daddy, it's all just make-believe."
I might add that her father seemed both horrified and secretly pleased. He's a complex one, that boy.
And finally, since I am sad and it's my blog, a prayer for cats. Our dear, dumb and slow Moe (definitely he moved slo mo)was killed the other night by a dog. We think it was a dog since he had no marks on him, as he would have had it been a fox. He was the Boy's beloved kitty and I can't figure out who I'm sadder for, Moe or my son. Moe's death breaks a little thread of the connection between the Boy and his original home. It is necessary for the threads to dissolve so he can go out into the world, but these small disconnects break the heart, too.
Here, from Belief Net, is my amended burial prayer for our black and white lug:
Eternal Spirit, we bring you our grief in the loss of Moe, and ask for courage to bear it. We bring our gratitude for having found him that icy night, and for the few years we shared with him. Moe gave us freely of his love; now we must commit our sweet companion into your hands. Give us eyes to see how your love embraces all creatures and every living thing speaks to us of your love. Amen.Goodbye, Sweet Moesley. Wherever you are, may it be eternal summer and slow moving butterflies.