It’s a well known fact that when in distress, we revert to our fist language. It brings us comfort, and takes less energy than coming up with words we’re not so familiar with.
My first language is English, but the colloquialisms that I use now are far from my mother tongue. I was raised among proud, country folk and hard asses.
Living in the city has influenced my language to acquiesce to more professional terms such as; Multi-disciplinary, facilitate…with an understanding of complex…blah, blah, blah…
Recently, I surprised myself by telling someone that they, “May as well just piss in the wind.”
Not only had I said it, but I said it with passion. And then I caught myself saying it again.
You may as well just piss in the wind.
You can picture it can’t you, this pissing in the wind?
It’s a satisfying string of words lending itself to a powerful visual; Letting it all hang out, and then having it all blow back in your face.
I’m sure it’s the way a lot of you have been feeling lately in the face of COVID19, (like you’re pissing in the wind) and the mostly inadequate measures that ‘we’ have taken to protect our communities. Pissing in the wind.
Crazier than a shithouse rat.
Dumb as a stump.
As useless as tits on a bull.
God willing and the creek don’t rise.
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Sweatin’ like a sinner in church.
If it’d been a snake, it would’a bit ya.
These are just a few of the finer phrases that were familiar to my upbringing in a small village on the north shore of Lake Erie.
Lately I’ve been stressed more than usual. I’m sure you’re feeling it too. Our world is in flux, and there is little, if any steady footing.
These little sayings are homey, and can be comforting. They’re power-packed nuggets of wisdom that colour our conversations and paint a vivid picture. It feels good to fall back on something solid; my first-language.
As we continue to exist in an environment of the unknown, I know that others will return to their first language as well. I can only hope it’s as soothing and entertaining as my own, because if we don’t all stay the hell home, the health authorities ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.
Wishing you and those whom you love, good health.