Currently there is a serious lack of excitement with which I can regale you. My days are mostly comprised of abundant kitten cuddling and coffee consumption. Occasionally I will pick up a WIP and knit a couple rows. But I get really frustrated with my clumsiness and end up stuffing the project in a drawer and cursing alot. Although the pain I felt when I moved my fingers has subsided significantly – perhaps enough to try spinning again – I can’t hold my left needle properly while wearing this cast, so I lose patience really quickly. To give you an idea of how little knitting is happening here, I’ve been working on the same fingerless glove for about five days. A glove that might normally take about three hours to complete is still in need of three fingers and a thumb (yes, it’s a “fingerless” glove, but it still has half-fingers). And then there’s a second glove to make. Oh boy.
Instead of knitting, I’ve been dividing my time between two new-ish activities: drawing and German studies. Drawing isn’t exactly a new hobby, but it has been many many years since I’ve done any serious drawing. At the moment I’m only doodling, but it helps keep me occupied. A couple doodles are up in my Etsy shop right now.
Aside from drawing, I am keeping busy by immersing myself in so much German. Not just my normal lessons, but also reading German text, watching YouTube channels, even trying to follow the German versions of knitting patterns. My comprehension has skyrocketed, though I still struggle with speaking and writing. German syntax is just so different than English! Despite the difficulties I’m having with sentence structure, I’m discovering what a beautiful language it is.
Normally German is portrayed as incredibly harsh and unromantic. However, the more I learn, the more I see the beauty in it. For starters, the phonemes themselves are so onomatopoeic that they alone can convey so much emotion. Consider the following:
- die Luft (the air) – pronounced “DEE LOOFT,” it sounds so light and feathery, just like what it represents
- krank (sick; ill) – this one is pronounced “KRONK” (with a throaty rolled ‘r’), and I find it sounds just trying to speak with a stuffed-up nose. “Please take me to the Krankenhaus in a Krankenwagon, I think I have a serious Krankheit!”
- der Schmuck (the jewelry) – with this word, “DARE SHMOOK”, I envision an older woman decked out in so much gawdy jewelry that removing it sounds like a suction cup ripping away from her skin
- das Blut (the blood) – “DASS BLOOT” sounds like either a pulse or like droplets of blood dripping onto a surface. blut, blut, blut, blut….
Once you become accustomed to the flow of the language, it absolutely does not sounds like the stereotypical overexaggerated hacking-up a loogie language that the Internet wants you to believe it is.
The thing I appreciate most about German is how modular the vocabulary is. Make new words by mashing together existing ones! Consequently, some German words are extremely literal. But it also allows for loads of creativity, poetry, and metaphor to be expressed in a single word, which is why there are loads of magnificent untranslatable words. Zeitgeist, for example, literally translates to time ghost and refers to the spirit of a generation, decade, or period of time. Whats so beautiful about the word itself is that without the need to elaborate, it evokes so much imagery. Ghost implies that the time was once alive, vivid, and tangible; but it is now passed, leaving behind only haunting glimpses of what used to be. Ghost also raises the question of existence: is the spirit of the time real, or simply a romanticized way of remembering the past?
I could probably go on for pages and pages about my newfound love of the German language. But I’ll end it here. It’s about noon right now and I have accomplished nothing but breakfast so far today. Such is life on worker’s comp, I suppose. Tomorrow is my follow-up appointment at the hospital. I’ll find out how much longer I need to be off work, and how much longer I have to keep this cast on my arm. Hopefully they will replace the cast with a fresh one because the stank emanating from this thing is like a nicely aged apple cider vinegar. Wish me luck!