Uitwaaien (Dutch): Going out for a walk or to the countryside in order to clear one’s mind.

My mind is filled with clutter. Last week, last month, last year. He said, she said. Blue, grey, green. Coffee, burnt eggs, scrambled. Blinking bulb above my head, can’t fall asleep. Where do I go? The winds are howling across my windowpane. Nowhere else in my apartment can fill the empty void I want. My thoughts follow me like a spoiled shadow. Breaking into my house, the winds find the top of my hand. Breaking and entering. I try to call the cops but remember it’s just the wind.  Last week, last month, last year, I had said something that I couldn’t take back. I wonder what that is. Searching through the crevices of lunch, I found a bagel I made last week. Wouldn’t hurt to eat. Threw up in the washroom. The wind taps at my window. The moon is calling somewhere. I can’t get up. I won’t be able to sleep. I close my eyes for dinner. Burnt pasta. It’s only burnt because I thought having burnt eggs weren’t enough for the day. No. It’s because I can’t cook. While I had the heat on I tried to remember what I said that day. Nothing came. Nothing will. Half an hour of staring at the ceiling and I think I’ll die of sleep deprivation. I get up, slap on a coat, and leave my home. The wind is the first to hit me. Of course. Followed by the moon and stars. Thousands of those blinking lights. I begin to walk.

I remember now.



Tsundoku (Japanese): The act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling it up together with other such unread books.

Mountains of worlds left asunder, collecting dust from their master’s departed skin, grazing their fur with the gentle caress of a child, barely opening their spines. The first of their kind to be forgotten was an action novel, guns blazing protagonist, cheap one liners, and an expiration date of a day. No one was left blazing with that kept at the bottom of the mountain.

The second of their kind to be forgotten was a science fiction novel, about a man stranded on Mars, landed on old vestiges by accident and understood as long dead, he struggles on the deserts of the unclaimed, his last stand. Turned into a movie, thought he’d read the book, but now it was compiled against pages and pages of other such defiled intentions.

Such was even the case with his textbooks that he bought with the implication of reading them for class. Buried under layers of fiction, fact is crushed under the fantastical worlds that he had never laid eyes on. As day grows, that pile only heightens, his own mind knowing no bounds in its interest, but never reaching what it wants.


Wabi (Japanese): A flawed detail that creates an elegant whole.

Snow, drifting on by until the world is covered in its blanket of white, finding within its embrace all those that seek to push away the cadence of the world. Within Snow, all that exists beckon to a warmth that they create. Fire, is used to stave away Snow, melting it to become water, another element that is slowly becoming minute. When the melted Snow becomes water, it freezes to become Ice, glittering onto lakes and oceans, protecting the water from smog.

Snow, drifting on by until the world is covered in its blanket of white, until even buckets of salt has been spread to melt its warmth, will continue. Until the world is cast blank upon its embrace. For a new year, the world has to find itself covered in the place underneath Snow. Glimmering in the sun, a sheen of the old world drifts along with the coming of the new season, of a new world.

The air is filled with chills, cheers beckoning to the stars hiding underneath Snow. Manmade lights strewn upon spruce caress homes with gifts wrapped and children placed in facades of a world conquered by the man who rides too many reindeer. Not a single drop of tear, lest it be tears of smiles, not a single cheer of cutthroat normalcy that makes up the world remains.

Upon Snow, a new world is born, underneath its persistent glows and its warm embrace, it will find every nook and cranny, covering what was once, and making anew.

However, the new can only be made with the old moving forward with the Snow, and not against it. Year after year, that Snow fears that it may no longer be able to fall as a swirl, fluttering about in the wind. But it tries anyway. For it longs to see a new world, every year.


Listopad(Russian): The falling of the leaves.

Gently towards the Earth, they come in waves as the year rounds to a close. In droves they litter the streets, colored the rising sun, dried with bristle veins, crunched under the feet of the world.

Their owners, stripped of their clothes, wither away till they can find a new cloak. Their companions wither in another realm, unable to caress the shriveled bones of their owners.

Some find their way to the confines of a warm abode planted between the processed skin of their owners. They retain their musk, their color, their form as they rot away on the shelves of those with better ways to pass the time.

They stay only for a fortnight as the cold winds draft their memories into another day.


Duende (Spanish): The mysterious power that a work of art can have over a person.

In a swirl at the moon;  with the twirls of a skirt, you swung with the trills of the notes that floated on lit candles and whitened drapes flowing in chords. In a crescendo at the base of a mountain; with the snowy blanket falling over our heads as you hummed in bursts of four beats drinking red wine and overcooked steak. That was my mistake. In a forte at the eye of the storm; with the sharpened winds draping your arms in light brushes, tiny pricks lifting your hairs, your eyes nearly falling into black. The song ends and we’re sitting at our tables, drinking red wine with food that no one would die for. The next song comes on, we’re back at the moon.


Litost (Czech): A feeling that synthesizes grief, sympathy, remorse and longing.

I saw her crying that night when her father died. She wouldn’t answer me. My touch faded into her space. My words fell flat onto her ears. Her eyes were a distant red. My step-sister would never come to forget him, and I barely knew him. I was hardly in the world when I was born. I was hardly in the world when everything around me seemed to change. I was hardly in the world when those that I should have sought close to me were further than the stars. My step-sister came into my life soon after. I met her first at the train station waiting for the 104 to come. Her smile beamed throughout the dim light of the afternoon station. She greeted me with all she had. Her bright hair flung behind her in her playful gait. Her warmth found me. Not long after my mother remarried, my father had died again. Pangs of daggers came onto me from every moment of living. But seeing my sister be so distraught, seeing her smile turn into contortions made me want to hold her. To lend her my warmth, the same warmth she lent me. I never knew my father, or my step-father, but I have an obligation now to be someone who can protect my family. I wish I knew my father, or my step-father, so I could at least have some way of knowing how I can do that.


Saudade (Portuguese): Melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing far away.

My hands dip into the water as you float further from my finger tips frizzling in the short aftertaste of rain as it glides off the tip of my tongue, you find yourself waddling in short waves that emanate from the origin of my touch, and you graze the corner of the ocean with your short reach finding yourself in its embrace before I jump in after you, but you only continue to float further and further from my grasp that you seem to be a year away and that every step I take you retract five more years away until finally we’re at the end of our lives and it’s the world on fire and we’re finally within reach of our futile lives and yet you still retract and turn your head away looking into the sunset blaze of seven billion lives and you tell me that I’ll never be where you are again.


Fargin (Yiddish) To wholeheartedly appreciate the successes of others

I’m glad you’ve got it all together. I’m glad you’ve lived this long. I’m glad you’re here with me. I’m glad you can tell me all about your day. I’m glad that you can just take your taxes, laugh and pay. I’m glad that you don’t worry about student fees. I’m glad that you’ve found a nice community. I’m glad your friends love you. I’m glad you love your friends. I’m glad you’re eating well. I’m glad you haven’t made your way and fell. And if you do, I’m glad you can pick yourself up. I’m glad you can continue. I’m glad you can wave your hands and tell me hello. I’m glad you can wave your hands and tell me goodbye. I’m glad you’ve stopped crying. I’m glad you’ve stopped trying. You already have it all together, you’re already winning. I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you’re glad. I’m glad you’ve held on so long. I’m glad you’re there, and I’m here. And I’ll be there, eventually. So when I do find you there, please be glad for me as well.