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Entries in #vikings (1)

Sunday
Oct072012

"Explosion-Covered People"

Check out this article (and portraits!) from NPR's Picture Show blog, "Voices of the 'Explosion-Covered People.'" It's well worth the five minutes, if only to learn about the elderly woman who has been providing comfort-water to A-bomb victims for decades now. This type of documentation is even more critical given that many of these people didn't feel comfortable talking about their experiences until very recently, towards the ends of their lives.

Tangentially (and I will write about this in more detail soon), the phrases "explosion-covered people" and "comfort-water" enchant me. I don't speak Japanese--never studied it at all beyond the survival basics necessary for a trip to Tokyo once over New Year's--and maybe that's why. I'm convinced that true fluency is indicated only when you are able to appreciate poetry, as poetry depends on deviation from what its readers and listeners expect from a language. If you haven't internalized the expectations, you won't understand what falls outside of them. The bittersweet side of this is that until you're at that point (or at least, it works this way for me), just about everything rings poetic and leads you to consider the what/how/why and the strange beauty of what is being expressed. Once you're able to fully appreciate poetry, that pan-poetic awareness has been lost, necessarily.

And then head on over to Wikipedia, where the sidebar will tell you that today is St. Osgyth's day (as observered by Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox types). Muse on how you've never seen this name before (despite a full year of studying Anglo-Saxon) and check out her life story, circa 700 AD. Take a moment to wonder about what life was like at that point in British history--post-Romans, right? Pre-Normans, for sure; you know that much. Ponder what else might have been going on. Finally, read about her demise: killed by Viking marauders. How very appropriate of her! 

If you do all of this, you have experienced for yourself my lazy Sunday morning browsing.