Of Pretentious Names

hiraeth-means-homeWell, yesterday’s post knocked me out for pretty much the rest of the day once I’d published it. I’m making a note to spend one entry talking about the glass-size analogy I use to describe how much energy, or personal inner resources, or personal fuel we all have to budget with, and the effects of going into a negative balance, but for today I think I’ll scribble something a bit lighter. For the sake of soothing my own soul more than anything else.

It struck me that there are some things people may not understand and may have questions about but don’t want to ask. No? I don’t care, I’m going to answer them anyway. It’s all about me, man.

Where is Hiraeth, why are you leaving it, and how the hell do you pronounce it?

It is pronounced Heer-EYETH with a rolling R.

Hiraeth is not an actual place, but an idea. A Welsh word with no literal translation, it refers to the longing for what was past, real or imagined, and the sadness we feel for having lost it. Wikipedia (that place of higher learning and irrefutably trustworthy knowledge) says it’s more than just simple homesickness, but a melange of “yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness…earnest desire”.

For years I swam in it without knowing there was an actual word to describe it, which I suppose is one of the limitations of my ever pragmatic native language. I am walking away from it because I’ve realised, as poets and artists have before me, that the only true path is ahead, and you can never go home.

Why does the URI of this blog start with “10seven”?

Everyone knows what 10-4 means, but there’s an entire roster of 10 codes used by emergency services everywhere. 10-7 is generally accepted to mean out of service, or off the air, but in Toronto EMS we used it to say we were stepping out of the ambulance, wherever that happened to be.

You might notice that the first entry in this blog is from this past February, and there’s nothing after it until this month. I’d tried to start a blog last year but really had no particular direction. I had originally named it 10-7 Out of Service because, in retrospect, I think I only wanted to indulge my bitterness and anger at the ambulance industry, and my own self-pity at where it had put me. I had only written three entries, one of which was a rambling and meaningless drunken diatribe, and decided to save just the one when I came back to it. I had the option to change the URI, but after some thought decided to leave it as is. A souvenir maybe, I’m still not sure. Even though it remains, though, does not mean this is going to be about emergency services.

In blogs, you have the option to create convenient categories to drop your posts into, but I’ve avoided doing that for this new iteration because I thought I would let them come naturally. Before, I’d created tons of them, mostly useless. One that comes to mind now is Questions & Maybe Answers for posts just like this one. Feel free to ask away, and maybe I’ll answer.

See what I did there? My goodness, I’m clever.

5 thoughts on “Of Pretentious Names

  1. Pingback: Paradigm Shifts | Patrick Riley

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