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From Italian to English: languages and feelings lost in translation.

Updated on July 7, 2010

Private thoughts (not so private anymore)

Today I had quite a long time to think and meditate about life, maybe about waaaaaaaay too many things I would not meditate about otherwise. I don't know if that's good or bad exactly, but I am still grateful to have an active brain to exploit from time to time. So I was thinking about the English expression "breaking one's heart" and I started realizing how slightly different its Italian version is. We actually say "spezzare il cuore di qualcuno" which as a literal translation is not quite the word break, very close, but its etimology is closer to the expression "making into pieces" as "pezzo" means piece in Italian. In this very slight difference, almost unpalpable to the ones who normally don't take time to analyze it (and neither would I, trust me, if I weren't babysitting my best friend's kids :)), I started thinking how these two expressions get lost in their translation from my native language, Italian, to my acquired tongue, English, to the point that they almost mean different things.

When you get your heart broken I think of that expression from the perspective of the word "broken" itself. You literally become broken, turn into a broken person, someone who is uncapable of experiencing feelings in the same way as they did when they were a whole. Your emotions become broken, the whole way you perceive people from the inside out is broken, and I can relate to this feeling very much in this moment of my life. I feel like I am broken and I strive for wholeness again, but see, the thing is that when you are broken, it truly takes time and patience and faith to be whole again, as everything around you looks broken as well. The frustrating part of being broken is that you can obviously see and feel that break inside of you, and do not recognize your own self in the shoes of someone who is now not whole anymore, yet you can't do much to reverse to that stage of wholeness that was part of you at some point. You just gotta go with the "brokeness" until your wholeness comes back to you some day.

Now the word making into pieces. That's a different story to me. To some people there may be not much of a difference between the two expressions, but listen to what I have to say. My idea of broken is for some reason of something that is divided into two big parts, two units only that once formed the whole. In Italian, instead, you got the "pieces", many pieces in fact, kinda like a shattered crystal glass falling on the floor from a high stand. Once there are many pieces to compose the whole, it becomes quite hard to put them all back together; as a matter of fact, it may even be impossible to find them all again to begin with. Some pieces will inevitably be lost and never be part of the whole they originated from. Some pieces will be so small that it will be impossible to recognize the exact position that they had in the whole. So, in putting the whole back together after it has been broken into pieces, it will not be guaranteed that it will be the same after the repatching process. Also, something that's broken into many pieces loses its core strength. Want it or not, the stability and harmony that were at the core of the whole soul will be lost forever.

I know, some of you who are reading this will inevitably think, Wow!Too much time on your hands, lady. Well, yeah, kinda, at least tonight. I am also in a particular phase of my life where I am writing a lot. Not all that I write is made public in the end, but I thought this particular reflection would be thoroughly enjoyed by some of my friends who like to phylosophical speculation themselves...LOL!( you totally know who you are!).

So back to the two expressions "having my heart broken" and "having my heart into pieces". I kinda have yet to decide which one I like best. In my case, I like the idea that, even though my heart is broken, it has yet to be split into fine, imperceptible, little pieces dispersed all over the place. Somehow I have been able to keep my strength, my inner harmony, my private glory that, who truly knows me, knows that it's just part of who I am. I feel like somebody recently stopped by in my life to drink at the source of my inner energy stream to the point where only a few drops were left to remind me that there is still a spring in there to keep me alive. It felt like being violated at the very core of my trust all over again. I had known the feeling of sorrow that came with trust violation in the past, yet I was not afraid to put my good spirit out there again for someone to grab it and use it. I did it. Mistake? Yes...uhmmmm...Maybe. Just because it left me broken again, and I am usually not one to be broken. I hate being broken, it just turns me into this person who doesn't have the courage to give 100% of herself to something anymore. Maybe it's a mechanism of the mind that our brain automatically switches on to avoid insanity....But the bottom line is that I am emotionally frozen. There's a potential for an amazing numbers of one nightstanders whom I will never give a f** about. Not what I am in the game for. So, after careful consideration Ladies and Gentlemen, we have decided that when it comes to being broken hearted or having my heart broken in fine little pieces it may not even matter at this stage. Only time will tell which one of the two has been, but only once time will pass me by and this will only be a memory, only when I won't even remember the question to my answer.

© 2010 Roberta S


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