Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Deja La Luz Encendida, Por Favor

It occurred to me late in life that I missed the boat by not learning Spanish in my youth. Like most things, language learning comes easier to the young. Notwithstanding my age and sluggish brain, I determined at age 50 that I would become fluent in Spanish. While I have yet to become fluent, I have learned enough words and phrases to get by. Pondering words and thoughts in a foreign language can add perspective to your native language thoughts.

For example, in Spanish the same word, "esperar," is used for "to wait" and "to hope." The beautiful Spanish name "Esperanza" (Hope) comes from it. "Nuestra esperanza está en Dios" can be tranlated most directly as "our hope is in God." "Estamos esperando a Dios" means we are waiting for God. But in the "to" form of the verb, "we are going to wait for God" or "we are waiting for God" and "we are going to hope in God" or "we are hoping in God" comes out nearly identical: "Vamos a esperar a Dios" and "Que vamos a esperar en Dios."

Consider Jeremiah 14:22 in English and Spanish:

Jeremiah 14:22 (New International Version)
22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.

Jeremías 14:22 (Nueva Versión Internacional)
22 ¿Acaso hay entre los ídolos falsos alguno que pueda hacer llover? Señor y Dios nuestro, ¿acaso no eres tú, y no el cielo mismo, el que manda los aguaceros? Tú has hecho todas estas cosas; por eso esperamos en ti.

Contemplating that in which we place our hope can lead to ambivalence. You might remember the old Doris Day song "Que Sera Sera" -- "What Will Be Will Be" -- or "Whatever Will Be Will Be." On the other hand, it can also lead to clarity. Do you remember the Spanish love song "Eres Tu?"

(Eres Tu - by Juan Carlos Calderon)
Como una promesa, eres tu, eres tu
Como una manana de verano
Como una sonrisa, eres tu, eres tu
Asi, asi, eres tu.

Toda mi esperanza, eres tu, eres tu
Como lluvia fresca en mis manos
Como fuerte brisa, eres tu, eres tu
Asi, asi, eres tu

Eres tu como el agua de mi fuente
Eres tu el fuego de mi hogar
Eres tu como el fuego de mi hoguera
Eres tu, en mi vida el trigo de mi pan

Como mi poema, eres tu, eres tu
Como una guitarra en la noche
Todo mi horizonte eres tu, eres tu
Asi, asi, eres tu.

[Eres Tu - English translation]

Like a promise, you are, you are
Like a summer morning
Like a smile, you are, you are
Like that, like that, you are

All my hope, you are, you are
Like fresh rain in my hands
Like a strong breeze, you are, you are
Like that, like that, you are

[Chorus:]You are like the water of my fountain
You are like the fire of my home
You are like the fire of my bonfire
You are my life, like the wheat of my bread

You areLike a poem, you are, you are
Like a guitar in the night
My whole horizon, you are, you are
Like that, like that, you are

P.S. "Deja La Luz Encendida, Por Favor" means "Leave The Light On (Burning), Please."

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