The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.~ Veronique Vienne
I love words. I cherish and curate them and still use a dictionary every day.
Working with language is my introvert’s comfort zone and an endless, enjoyable safari that has gifted me with poetry, joy, clarity, connection and five different career strands.
I love how words have layers of meanings like the ripples from pebbles dropped in a pond; I love how they feel when they roll around the tongue or dance around the mind; I love untangling threads of meaning, cultures and essence when I translate.
I love communing with people at a slower pace, through words and music and all the silences in between.
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. ~ Anne Lamott
I’ve recently been teaching myself the language of computer code, trying to build a new website theme that resonates with how I want the blog to feel now that its bustling bistro days are long gone. (I’m due a theme update but this one will break if I update it; I messed with the code in all the wrong places before I realised what I was doing.) There are only a few of us left, so with the new theme, I’m going for something simple and quaint, yet light and airy.
That’s why today’s Two Words for Tuesday are untranslatables; a Danish one and a Greek one that capture the essence of what I’d like blogging to feel like again, in a digital world that’s become much too busy, fast and shallow for me, maybe for you, too.
I’d like my new blog to feel more like the Danish word… HYGGE.
Hygge (pronounced like a cross between hoo-guh & hue-gih) is so multilayered, it’s at once untranslatable yet instantly recognisable. It’s used as an adjective and a noun and it’s an attitude of living in the now with well-being and presence; it’s comfort, cosiness, warmth between people and a heart glow; it’s the art of creating intimacy; it’s pleasure from simple things and the absence of annoying things; it’s what makes the everyday beautiful and special times magical; it’s drinking mulled wine and eating gingerbread by candlelight in front of the fire at Christmas or reading a holiday book alone at a sunbleached table in a warm sea breeze as the sun goes down slowly over the Greek ocean.
And the Greek word? One of my favourites. (Sorry this theme can’t cope with Greek fonts.)
meráki (mer-AH-kee) When you create, do or learn something out of love, primarily for you, and you leave a bit of your self, your essence and your soul in it.
For me, it’s been my writing and my Greek.
If I stay on track, I plan to share more words with you this week. I hope that’s OK with you.
What speaks to you of hygge? What could you do today to have more of a hygge home and live a more hygge life?
How does meráki show up in your life?