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follow site Twenty seven Octobers ago, I was in a university Spanish class and the professor was explaining the difference between the two Spanish verbs ‘to be’, ‘ser’ and ‘estar’, listing the instances when we should use each one. The general rule, he said, was that ‘estar’ was used with transient states like emotions, health and physical position and ‘ser’ with inherent things like personality, physical appearance, religion, nationality and professions.  As the leaves fluttered past the Victorian windows of the classroom to their deaths, he explained that the adjective ‘muerto’ went with ‘estar’.IMG_2021[1]

go here “But why?” someone asked.  “Death is permanent.”

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=levitra-originale-spedizione-veloce “How do you know?” he replied sharply.  “Have you died?”

dove acquistare viagra generico 200 mg a Napoli “No,” the student answered, blushing.

go The professor went on to explain that most Spanish-speakers are Roman Catholic and that, as such, they believe in an afterlife. Death, therefore, is a temporary state. If we considered, the professor continued, the belief of many that the spirits of the ancestors intermingle with the living, death, for Spanish-speakers, could be nothing other than ephemeral. The message was crystal clear: the language, at its very core, cradles a belief in continuity.  And it does so in a way that English never can. “She is dead” sounds closed; it gives nothing away, no indication of anything beyond. “Ella está muerta”, on the other hand, is open; it acknowledges the unknown and trusts there is a road of some sort ahead.

go here Twenty seven Octobers ago, the classroom was pin-drop quiet, the leaves kept drifting past the window casements and no one ever forgot that ‘muerto’ and ‘muerta’ went with ‘estar’.

enter site That same question — why place ‘muerto’ with ‘estar’? — IMG_2024[1]comes up in my beginners’ class every year.  And every year, I think of when it was asked in the first Spanish course I took in the room with the Victorian windows. “Because death is transitory,” I always say, echoing my Spanish professor’s explanation from years before. However, my thoughts run deeper than that. Because even if you don’t believe in an afterlife of any kind, there is always continuity. There is physical transformation. There is a shift out of body into others’ stories, memories and conversations, a movement into dreams and thoughts. Features, gestures, fragments of personality, passions and talent live on through children and grandchildren, sometimes without their knowledge. When I catch a glimmer of a deceased loved-one in my children, I consider it a lovely echo, a reminder of endlessness.  With this in mind, the adjective ‘muerto’ is meant to be with ‘estar’, the verb of impermanence.  And how beautiful that Spanish captures that.

enter site Invisible, me acompañas por las calles y te sientas conmigo en los cuartos vacíos donde sigues hablándome del futuro, del pasado y de las locuras del día. Estás en mis sueños y mis conversaciones, en mis recuerdos y mis decisiones. Entonces, aunque les digo que estás muerto, tú y yo sabemos que no estás.

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Translation:  Invisible, you accompany me through the streets and sit with me in empty rooms where you continue talking to me about the future, the past and the craziness of the day. You’re in my dreams and my conversations, my memories and my decisions.  So, even though I tell them you’re dead, we both know you’re not.

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