Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Hiraeth Post?

This is a great article that describes 21 emotions for which there are no English words.

I was particularly struck by the word hiraeth (pronounced "HERE-eyeth"), which is a Welsh word that describes a combination of homesickness, grief, nostalgia, and longing for the past, particularly in Wales.  This strikes me as an incredibly useful word for those of us who grew up in western Kentucky, and now live elsewhere.  I have felt that emotion for many years, but I never had a good way to describe it until now.  You can read more about hiraeth here.

Given that our beloved High School will soon be closed, I am also struck by the extent to which the Heath Post acts as a sort of "Hiraeth Post" -- a way to channel the strong feelings of hiraeth that are so common to those, like us, who are grounded in a particular time and place.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great about hiraeth, of which I did not know. But does the article also define a term for the feeling of frustration and wasted life one derives from trying to navigate the graphic?

    One summer evening 20 years ago, the sister of a friend of mine was visiting in Bowling Green. She and a bunch of friends and I all walked up to WKU's colonnade, to sit in the old football bleachers and talk. So the sister had just gotten back from Italy, and I was just totally over the moon sitting there in the cool (for Bowling Green in the summer) of 75 degrees at 1 or 2 in the morning, listening to and watching this young woman talk about her trip. One of the things I remember is her talking about some word in Italian for which there was no English translation--it had something to do with undeclared communion and friends and lack of hurry ... something. I don't remember.