Wednesday, August 15, 2007

on beauty, the german language, and heartache (sort of)

I'm sure you have all heard the word wanderlust before. When we take apart the word we have "wander" and "lust" - and the meaning then becomes quite clear. A lust for wandering. A desire to see the world. Because I've got nothing but time on my hands today, I did a little research into the root of the word. I previously knew that it was German-based, and lucky for me, I know a bit of German. What I learned today was that the German translation of 'wanderlust' sounds very old fashioned to native german speakers. This is understandable; there are a lot of words in the english language that sound old fasioned to us as well. What I then read is that the word can be retranslated into a more modern day German expression. This word is fernweh. When you pick apart this new word, it gives such a stronger representation of what is really felt when one has a sense of wanderlust. The German word fern translates to "far" and weh into ache.

Ache. So much more than just a longing. An actual physical ache to go far.

My heart at times physically aches to experience something that it never has before. To go somewhere new. To see beauty in strange places.

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