Tuesday, April 23, 2019

In der Heimat

Thursday Morning, the day before Good Friday
"Heimat" is one of those foreign words which only sort of translates directly to English. In this case today's title translates roughly to "In the Homeland." If you guessed that the language was German, you would be correct.
So why can’t we just translate Heimat as ‘homeland’? Because one’s Heimat is not necessarily their homeland – it’s not even necessarily a country. It can refer to a specific region, city or county. Heimat is the place where you feel the most at home, and that could be the place you grew up in, or it could be somewhere you have lived for a long time. The concept of Heimat seems to be a very emotional one; it is more about feeling at home than being in your physical home. Max Frisch, the famous German playwright, claimed that the word Heimat was unübersetzbar – untranslatable. (Source)
I get a bit miffed when somebody says that a certain word can't be translated into another language, that's nonsense. There are no concepts within our species which cannot be understood by all of us. Can a single word be used to translate a concept from one language to another? Not always. Sometimes a simple word like Heimat can't be expressed with a single English word like "homeland." sometimes it can take a paragraph (or more) to describe a concept expressed by a single word.

New England is my homeland, my Heimat if you will. I grew up here, though I was away for twenty-four years, it was always my home. Probably always will be. I have no doubt that others feel the same way about their homeland. Perhaps my buddy Dwight could chime in about his homeland, which I gather is North Carolina. While he lived for quite a while in a very lovely place, Sandy Eggo, you could always tell that he wanted to get back "home" someday. He did.

Easter Sunset
When I was a callow youth, I had trouble understanding why some Southern officers abandoned their allegiance to the United States upon their home states seceding from the Union. It's hard to break ties with the place you call home. I understand it now. Would I do that? Not in a million years, whereas New England is my native land, I owe a higher allegiance to the United States, especially the Constitution. It was my raison d'être for all those years I wore the uniform of the United States Air Force. I have not been released from the oath I swore, nor do I wish to be.

Yes, it's simple, and complicated, all at the same time.

Some deep thoughts after a pleasant weekend. We're traveling at the end of the week, going out to see the kids out west. Looking forward to it. Blogging could get sparse for a cuppla days, who knows? While I will have access to a computer, there are grandchildren to spoil.

A man's got to have priorities, ya know?

Morning, Easter Monday
Work is great, life is great.

I'm blessed and awfully thankful for that.

May you all have a wonderful week.

Ciao!




64 comments:

  1. Yeah, it’s pretty much as “translatable” as the word “home.” Home is where the heart is, and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, yes I did. It was the plan as I retired from the Navy, it just took us much, much longer than anticipated. Obligations you know. Too many things got in the way. It was uplifting to finally get everything done (with a lot of help and assistance during that final week from my realtor son-in-law and my brother-in-law) and get in the trusty Volvo pulling away from a morning breakfast at Denny's,leaving CA for good.It was a simple trip. Leaving Escondido on I-15, making a right turn onto I-40 at Barstow, then a left on NC 68 in Greensboro five days later and then straight HOME. Home of sweet tea and "Do you want biscuits and gravy or grits with that Sweetheart?" ("Sugar" and "Honey" sometimes as well.) My Mother's Baby Boy is home, never to leave for long ever again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "biscuits and gravy or grits"

      Can I get both? (Good stuff!)

      Delete
    2. Yum. Now you've got me hankering for some B&G with a couple eggs mixed in, and grits with sausage, though not at the same time.

      Delete
    3. You guys head on over to Cracker Barrel. They'll fix you right up.

      Delete
    4. OAFS - Why not? Because I choose to savor the flavors of a good country breakfast consisting of biscuits, sausage gravy and eggs over medium all chopped up into a gross-looking but very delicious pile. And I choose to savor the flavors of sausage and grits. Two totally different flavors, not good together. I know, I tried.

      Delete
    5. SCP8 - Cracker Barrel is to Southern Food as Red Lobster is to real seafood diners. An approximation, but not the real thing.

      My sausage gravy is much better. Much much better. So are my grits. So is my chicken-fried whatevers... CB's gravy is from a can! Bleh!

      Delete
    6. Apparently my palate isn't refined as yours. (Insert "damned Yankee" comment here...)

      Delete
    7. Most people like Dred Lobsta as a seafood restaurant, because they don't know better. Same with Cracker Barrel, it's 'okay' but...

      Delete
    8. Well, to be fair...

      Nah, I grew up in New England, Red Lobster is about as real as "instant grits." (Which I find to be horrible.)

      Delete
    9. Well Beans, at the next Gathering you're up for breakfast. Not the I doubt your claims but I just want a great breakfast.

      Delete
    10. I tend to avoid chain restaurants as much as possible . . . Except In-n-Out!

      Delete
  3. Stomping grounds defines the idea for me. When I top the caprock outside of Post, TX. I am at home. It's a beautiful place, and I understand it. I understand the layout of the roads, the weather, the land. I love the smell of the dirt up there.

    I think we see the past through our current lenses. The past is a different country. They do everything different there. A person was a citizen of his state. The federal government wasn't as big or involved as it is now. The Great Unpleasantness gave us the concept of THE United States IS.... Until that time, The United States ARE.... individual states doing what they did. As a descendant of those dispossessed of their property due to losing a war and being economic refugees in their own country, I developed an attachment to my state that equals my attachment to the US. I guess I'm a throwback.

    I'm not really sure if it's because of the stories I heard from near kin about the tender mercies of the carpet baggers and seeing the same mercies afforded to me by the .gov, or if it's just growing up here in the only state that was a republic in it's own right before statehood. But my state has my undying support, and so does my country. I don't want to make a decision between them....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually Vermont was a republic before becoming a state as well. Not many people know that.

      Delete
    2. Good analysis, STxAR. Creeping federalism was one of the causes/outcomes of the Great Unpleasantness. Before it many considered themselves as citizens of the State and the Nation.

      A lot of it was, well, travel distances. When one doesn't travel for fun like we do today, one's mental borders tend to be smaller, and State is an easier concept to grasp than Nation. Especially all the silly foreigners who founded this nation, coming from countries as small as some states or regions divided into city-states or sections.

      A lot of foreigners don't understand how vast this nation is. And vastness is hard for small, closed minds to handle.

      Delete
    3. We can agree to disagree on that one.

      Delete
    4. And that's why I like the discourse here. Spirited, strong, sometimes angry, but in the end we're all gentlemen and ladies and even better, friends. The way debate used to be...

      Delete
    5. Like back in the day, no one ever gets offended here. I like that.

      Delete
  4. Ya a bear....... home IS where the heart is. Returned back to my home state after a few years in Illinois but was glad to live in another part of this country. I remember taking the oath when I started federal employment, Sarge.....yowsa..... that was a few decades ago already. Don't recall there being an expiration date on that oath though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, no expiration date, well, unless one renounces one's citizenship. If you do that though, might want to buy a one way ticket to wherever...

      Delete
    2. There's not, unlike what 'our betters' in the media and the DNC and ACLU think, an expiration date on the Pledge of Allegiance either. For those of us who didn't take the oath, many of us took our oaths very early and believed it, still believe it, will believe it till the day we die.

      I wish the people who don't want to pledge or take an oath would renounce their citizenships and go away to a place of their liking, rather than try to drag the US down with them. Sigh.

      Delete
  5. Heimat definitely is an appropriate term for me. Born in CA. Spent another year there while Dad was stationed in Thule. Moms family as well as most of Dads family lived there so we visited a lot. Pretty place....Not my heimat. Dad got transferred to Webb. Arrived there late one July afternoon and checjed into the motel. Planes were in the traffic pattern overhead. I knew I was home. Lived in Texas through graduation from pilot training. Never made it back other than for refueling for twenty years.
    When it was time to retire from the Air Force, the only decision that needed to be made was what part of Texas we’d live in. A failed air conditioner, was taken as a sign from on high that FBG was the place. 20 years on, no regrets.
    Mrs J had a restful night and will be released after certain biological release requirements are met. The hard part will be the Doctors orders to “take it easy” for a while. I’ll be alternating between my “Step’n Fetchit” and Hardcore Fighter Pilot personas for a few days.
    Have a safe trip and say hello to all for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand how you feel about Texas, 'tis a great state.

      All the best to Mrs. j, tell her that the only way to get better is to follow orders. The doctor's orders of course. ;)

      Delete
    2. Yay! She lives! And, yeah, love that biological release requirement.

      Home-Home is where, no matter what, your mind wanders to during quiet moments.

      Enjoy being the man-servant for a few days. Just don't allow her to watch 'The (only one, and it's a wrong) View' as you might have to take her back in for brain surgery or something... ;)

      Delete
    3. It just hit me, biological release requirement. That's all I'll say. (Don't wanna go all sophomoric.)

      Delete
    4. So, the comment finally dribbled through your mind? Good, what a golden moment. (I enjoy sophomoric, it is a height I don't normally obtain in my humor...)

      Delete
    5. Got her home ok. Got the mandatory “Mom, we missed you soooooo much” from the animals. Tucked her in the bed wipth an extra king sized pillow across her abdomen to protect from enthusiastic, if suicidal, cats. She knocked off right away. I soon joined her and four hours slipped away. Man! Takes a lot outta ya.

      Delete
    6. Ah yes, the kamikaze cats. Been there, done that.

      Get well soonest Mrs J, lotta folks out here care about you.

      Strength for you juvat, she needs you. But I suspect you know that...

      Delete
    7. Well, since she's still for a while, maybe a guest-post and tell secrets on juvat?

      Delete
    8. Hhmm, sets a precedent which we might all regret...

      Delete
  6. You shore do get some purty sunsets. I understand that loyalty issue, God, Country, and state- but my new home state deserves little of my loyalty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. California seems to have turned into, well, pre-unification Italy. There are nice city-states here and there, but they are at war with each other. Hard to feel passion for a state that isn't.

      Do you, Tuna, feel any loyalty or sense of Home in the city you live in, exclusive of it being in California?

      Delete
    2. The coastal enclaves are very different from the interior of the state.

      Delete
  7. It's an issue with English. Where one word can have multiple meanings. My apartment is my home, while the Smoky Mountains is Mrs. Beans' HOME, and I feel at home on the ocean, or on flat places or even in the Smokies, but don't feel at home in big cities (or even medium cities) or surrounded by lots of people I don't know.

    Germans will invent new words for the different pitches of squirrel farts, using the same word construction as the names of organic chemistry.

    But, then again, Germans who speak German and created the German language mostly stayed in one spot all their lives, with little movement, so differentiating between the house-home, the land-home, the heart-home, and the homeys-home was much more needed, since all could be within a city block of each other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read up on the homesickness suffered by German troops in the service of both Wellington and Napoleon during the Peninsular War. It could literally make them sick.

      As for the creation of the German language, which German language? Hochdeutsch? Plattdeutsch? The dialect spoken where I lived was almost like German, almost like Dutch but unintelligible to me, who used to be pretty good at Hochdeutsch. Don't get me started on the Bavarian and Austrian dialects.

      Delete
    2. Yup. Germany-Germany is a recent, really recent construction. And the German people used to be very fragmented by region, religion, and all that jazz. Dunno about now...

      Delete
    3. Modern Germany didn't begin until 1871. Before that it was a bunch of little states with a few bigger ones lording it over the rest (think Prussia and Bavaria).

      Even now some parts of Germany are really different from the others.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah, the Constitution, "those rights reserved to states and those reserved to the people." The Constitution had spoken. It took Lincoln to tell that all to fuck off. It was never a suicide pact.

    I would never have thought that a son of Lighthorse Harry Lee was anything but a Virginian.

    Some might think it odd as States talk about breaking up but it was not odd for the people that grew up in the brand new Constiution to have the temerity to believe in the words as they were actually written. You just look at what happened to olde Virginia. I believe there is another place now known as West VA. Odd how a State could cut loose from a State but a State could not cut loose from the United States.
    The future promises to be interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I started a comment, but it developed into a rant because I’m pretty disgusted with what’s happened to my state.
    I’m outnumbered by carpetbaggers and can do little about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, please, rant away, at least from me. I occasionally rant about my own little spot of leftist Hell known as Gainesville, FL. I stand as a beacon of light and reason in a sea of stupidity and mental darkness...

      Delete
    2. Beans - There are a number of spots like that, thank God for the Electoral College...

      Delete
    3. Skip, I saw something reassuring the other day. It was a loaded vehicle pulling a u-haul with two bumper stickers. One said Trump 2020, the other said “Texas or bust”. It had California plates. My first thought was “Welcome, Friend” and my second, which I almostpulled in to tell him, was “Lose the plates”.

      People with your attitude are welcome in my state always. The Progs, while i cant stop them...not so much.

      Delete
    4. Beans, having now lived in Gainesville for two nights, I have come across some really nice Doctors and nurses, and even a lady who let me merge left onto Newberry Road the other morning. Someone, this PM, even zapped me into the place where I'm staying. I was sitting there at the gate, frustrated by the computer not letting me in, even though I had the code. I wonder if the owner actually knows the code - he has a zapper. Two more days in North Florida Hospital, then back to the beach.

      Delete
    5. Doesn't sound like much fun at all, even without the added stress of your wife in the hospital!

      Delete
    6. The exterior SW, W, NW ring portion of Gainesville is good people. The soft gooey center and the eastern sections? Dead to me, dead to ME!

      The area around North Florida is cool. Just don't go to the Waffle House on Newberry after 10pm... (there was a bit of the hood that showed up there a week or so ago...)

      There's a lot of good in this county, just we're oppressed by 'our betters.' Like the coming plastic shopping bag ban as of January 20th....

      Delete
    7. We have that plastic bag ban in Little Rhody. The stupidity of the progs is all-encompassing. What will they ban next, the protective sleeves on some greeting cards? The plastic wrap on meat at the grocery store?

      Assholes.

      Delete
  11. Great post. At this point in life, I’m not sure where my heimat would be. I couldn’t get out of Southern California fast enough when I got old enough. Spent fourteen years around Seattle, but that was never home-home. Just the place I worked, and that my wife and I grew our family from just the two of us to all seven of us.

    Now we’ve been in South Dakota for over three years. The kids are putting down roots, enjoying some stability, and starting to grow up. I’m joining groups. Is this home?

    When I close my eyes and think of home, I don’t see cornfields and endless horizons. It’s not Mount Ranier or the Space Needle either.

    It’s snow on the San Gabriel Mountains in winter, it’s driving through orange groves to get to Ventura beach, and it’s a cool desert breeze in autumn. But that California barely exists anymore. What’s left isn’t home, it’s a hollow husk that used to be home.

    Maybe SoDak will be heimat for me in a few more years. Maybe I haven’t found it yet. Guess I’ll know it when I’m there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's tough to have a place you loved turn into something you don't recognize anymore.

      Delete
    2. And, Aaron, what you dream is what Heimat is in America. The place that settles your soul.

      Delete
    3. The place that settles your soul.

      I like that, perfect.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the encouragement Gentlemen. I think this might be one of those “check back in 10 years” kind of things for me, assuming we’re still in SoDak.

      Delete
    5. Sometimes it takes that long.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)