Article: Spotlight: Words: ?

 
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Image Spotlight: Words
By Sharon Brown on July 26, 2015

Just a word or two for thought

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ImageZanymuse
Jul 25, 2015 11:15 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
I don't understand this one.
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ImageSharon
Jul 25, 2015 11:34 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
The birth of a child

The last words spoken to an old friend you will never see again

Maybe things like that. Something to think about anyway. Smiling

ImageZanymuse
Jul 26, 2015 12:02 AM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Thank you. That makes sense of it. For some reason my brain went blank and I couldn't understand what was being said.
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ImageSharon
Jul 26, 2015 9:53 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Sometimes I have to think them through before deciding to use them. Quotes can be so confusing if they've been translated as well, so that adds another element to the equation.

But it's also true that the actual meaning of the words might be different for different people depending on their experiences. I have a poem in mind for one of our future quotes, just because it promotes some pretty deep thoughts and interpretations will be different and interesting. Of course it won't be fun if we don't have much of a readership to add thoughts about it.

Imagevic
Jul 26, 2015 1:51 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
I've read this quote before and yes, it is one of the bittersweet ones Lovey dubby and sometimes that sweet part is a long time coming but it's oh so sweet when it does Lovey dubby
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ImageSharon
Jul 26, 2015 1:54 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Bittersweet. A good word for it, Vic!
Imagenap
Jul 26, 2015 4:28 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
I had the same issue, Brenda. I tried to associate it with something of my own experience and I drew a blank. Sharon, your examples make sense. Thank you. But I have to admit that I just don't relate to this one like I do to the other quotes.

I'm anxious to read what Jon has to say about it. He usually comes up with something profound. Thumbs up
ImageZanymuse
Jul 26, 2015 6:29 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Thanks Nancy, I usually just stay quiet if it is something I can't relate to but I drew a complete blank trying to understand what this one was saying. I was starting to feel dense. Then I remembered that there is no harm in asking for an explanation.

I use to tell my children that there is nothing wrong in being ignorant, but it is wrong to choose to remain ignorant.
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Imagepajonica
Jul 26, 2015 7:06 PM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
It went over my head too *Blush* But then again as a bloke I guess I'm excused Big Grin
Fortune favors the brave.
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Imagepajonica
Jul 26, 2015 7:23 PM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
The bitter for me comes in the form of divorce....The sweet meeting and marrying my wife and having our two lovely boys. Lovey dubby .
Fortune favors the brave.
Tickling is no laughing matter.
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ImageZanymuse
Jul 26, 2015 7:32 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
And without the bitterness the sweetness would not have been possible Lovey dubby
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Imagepajonica
Jul 26, 2015 7:35 PM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
So true, so a darn good quote after all.
Fortune favors the brave.
Tickling is no laughing matter.
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ImageSharon
Jul 26, 2015 8:01 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Perfect, Jon!!
Imagezuzu
Jul 27, 2015 1:16 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I can't agree with this one at all. The things that were hard to bear in my life have never been sweet to remember. I might feel relieved that they're over, but that's a far cry from happy memories. It's a very peculiar aphorism.
ImageZanymuse
Jul 27, 2015 8:39 AM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
I think it lost something in the translation.

Labor was hard to bear and even now it is not sweet to remember, The fruit of that labor, a beautiful infant, is sweet to remember.

Taken literally, it seems to imply that the pain is sweet to remember. Yet, it is actually the good that came out of the pain that is sweet to remember.
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ImageSharon
Jul 27, 2015 10:55 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I think the key to this one is that we can accept it or reject it depending on our own life experiences.

Here's a little example from my life.
It's been nearly 20 years since I received a call from my mother late one night. We were planning a weekend of shopping to be followed by a family reunion. This was long after Dad died and she was living with her new husband in Louisville. The phone call was good until near the end when she said 'I can't talk anymore, Sharon, I just can't talk." And she was gone. I was 210 miles away in W KY and had no idea how to get help to her in Louisville. Long story short, after long agonizing minutes I was able to get an uncle who reached 911 in Louisville and got help to her, but by then she was gone. And where was her husband during all this time? Taking a shower and getting cleaned up so he could take her to the hospital 'if she got any worse'. She didn't bother to wait till he was all spruced up, she just went ahead and died.

Painful.

But it didn't stop there. I was executrix of her will and what followed was very nearly unbearable. We spent a year in and out of court because her simple minded husband decided he wanted the land -- about 50 acres of the mountain where we lived and had owned since the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. The government paid those men who had fought in that war in land and one of my gg grandfathers was a recipient. The land had been divided among his children, passed on to my paternal grandfather, on to dad who had passed away about 13 years before and now it belonged to my mother to be passed on to my brother and me. Land, nothing but land. The money was easily distributed and the stepfather got a bit of it, but the land was the bone of contention.

He'd never seen the land. He grew up and lived in Louisville, and much to his surprise, the land -- all 50 acres of it -- was pristine, never been mined, never been timbered, virgin land; a mountainside, straight up and down with no utilities, no roads, nothing to mar it. Unless one counted the paths I had made with my treks up and down it when I was a child. There was all that timber, all the underground resources -- coal, gas, etc just waiting for him to yank into his greedy hands. Hands that had never touched soil even in all his 70 years. That land would go to my brother, I decided, and to me, but I would give my part to him. He already lived there and I was living 400 miles away. I had land of my own all the way across the state.

It took a little more than a year of horrendous sleuthing by me into my mom's bank accounts, including those she had closed over the years. I followed the paper trail, took pictures of the land, got copies of all deeds, all the money transactions, drove myself all over the state tracking down every bank she had ever visited. And in the end, the judge looked at my stepfather and told him she had never seen such greed from a man who had been married to a woman for only 6 years. That wasn't all, in my sleuthing I had found where she cashed in CDs to buy the home where they lived in Louisville. He thought he owned half of it, but it was all bought and paid for by her. Soon after his public 'failure' to add to more notches to his belt. he tucked tail and ran all the way to Texas to live with his daughter. But not until he'd stood up in court in answer to a question from the judge and with finger pointed at me saying he wouldn't hang around to see what happened to a spoiled and ignorant woman, a mountain hillbilly whose college education made her a fool. Said he wanted nothing more to do with such ignorant foolishness, and after the judge softly said she better not hear his name or see his face in court again, and fined him for his outburst, I lost track of him. I have no idea what happened to him after that. A very bitter time. But he was out of my life

I could have carried that bitterness with me all these years since it happened in '95-'96, but time heals and takes the harsh edges off, and the man is barely in my memory. What I am left with is the fun Mom and I had during those years, the shopping trips, the family reunions, the times she visited here just to be with me and with my children. I remember her last phone call and I remember how I frantically tried to get 911 in Louisville from 200 miles away and I remember the pain of her death. But the bitterness is gone, replaced by memories of all that fun she and I had when we were together.

So what was hard for me to bear at the time, is now no more than sweet memories. Time often jolts our minds and our souls with events that are harsh and painful, but Time also heals in such a way that though we remember, the pain and the bitterness are no longer there. Only the sweetness of the memories remains.

So that's how the quote applies to me.
ImageZanymuse
Jul 27, 2015 11:15 AM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Sharon, It is sad that humanity is so often lacking in some human beings. I can only hope that the land you fought to keep in the family will be prized and loved by future generations of your family in perpetuity so that it's history and preservation will continue on.
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ImageSharon
Jul 27, 2015 11:29 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I learned from my uncle, with whom Mom and the stepfather went to church, I learned from him after all was said and done, the stepfather became blind soon after he moved to Texas. As far as I know he continues to live with help from many because of his blindness. He would be in his 90s now, if he is still living. I really don't even want to know.

Sometimes in a funny moment I hope he thought his blindness came from this little old ignorant KY hillbilly woman.
Casting spells, you know?
ImageZanymuse
Jul 27, 2015 12:46 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Rolling on the floor laughing Yes, Maybe in his blindness, he was able to finally see the error of his greed.
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Imagezuzu
Jul 27, 2015 1:01 PM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
What a horrible experience! The death of one family member certainly can divide the remaining family members. I've seen it happen over and over again.

Your poignant story still doesn't convince me of the "truth" of the proverb, however. Your happy memories of your mother don't stem from that experience, and they actually could be dulled by that experience. As we get older, our minds tend to focus more on the "fight or flight" moments in our lives, and this, unfortunately, could obscure the happy memories.

I wonder whether this might be one of those "character-building" homilies, masquerading as a proverb. It may have been coined in a society where life was extremely hard, but people had to be encouraged to accept the hardships instead of rebelling against them. It reminds me of the patently false adage that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." That one was coined in the second half of the 19th century to encourage children to be humble and unassertive.

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