Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bushwhacking and Buddha

The bushwhacking of my neural pathways continues, clearing the debris that impedeshe recall and use of the Hebrew I used to know as a teenager. So far some large branches have been pushed aside and a faint trail is now visible. While out walking today, someone in a car even stopped to ask me for directions and I was able to communicate that "I don't know" and "I don't live here." However, I keep stumbling on pebbles of words, of but one syllable and two letters, which sound the same in a few languages but mean very different things.

In Hebrew "mi" means "who" and "ma" means what. Easy enough, except that in Hungarian "mi" means "what" and "ma" means "today", and for some reason when I want to ask in Hebrew (say, at the pastry shop), "What's that (Ma zeh?)", I often end up saying, "Who's that (Mi zeh)?".


And for some reason when I want to say "I" in Hebrew ("ani"), I produce the Hungarian word "en" (pronounced "ayn"), which in Hebrew means, "there is not".

So, there is not I.

I think it took Buddha a long time to come to this conclusion.

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