Saturday, January 14, 2023

January 14, 2022: Children and music; Soh-ree vs Sah-ree / Reruns from January 11, 12, 13, 14, 2007: Emily Dickinson with Paintbrush (1984), Sarah Before Laughter (1984), Imaginary Brother as Botanist (1984), and The Cat is Not Amused (1983-1984)

Today I visited again with my friends who are temporarily hosting a Sudanese refugee family.  I brought my tuning wrench and tuner so I could tune the autoharp I had left for the three children to play.  It was a joy to see two of the children again and to meet their mother and to see the third and youngest child who came upstairs later when it was time for all of them to go with my friend to the nearby park.  I had the wonderful feeling that I had met the mother before.  Maybe on the next visit I will meet their father.  The parents are taking English classes at the community college that is within walking distance of my friends' home.  The children can't go to school until they have a permanent residence, but that will happen soon.  The children are already well on their way to learning English.  

It doesn't take all that long to tune each of the 36 strings of an autoharp.  Once the two children had seen how it was tuned, they took turns playing it for the two hours I was there.  I showed them and their mother YouTube videos showing different musicians playing the autoharp.  I left the tuner with the children because they are learning the alphabet and understood that the tuner shows that each string is either A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or one of those letters with a ♯.  


Although I was born in California and lived there until I was 23 years old, I have always said, "I'm soh-ree," rather than "I'm sah-ree."  It used to puzzle me when people would ask where I came from, assuming I was not born in the United States.  A few years ago, I heard a local person talk about "soh-ree" vs "sah-ree."  It turned out he was born in Canada.  We live 25 miles from British Columbia.   Four generations ago, my ancestors lived in Canada.  Isn't it amazing that the Canadian pronunciation has come down from my great great grandmother to me?  I'm sure that I learned to say "I'm sorry" at an early age. One of the first things I learned from my Spanish lessons on Duolingo was "lo siento," which is translated as "I'm sorry" but actually means "I feel it."

 I can hear my mother's voice, "Say you're soh-ree," which I understood to mean I had done something wrong and needed to make an apology.  Interesting to find that the source of the concept "to be sorry" is a word meaning to be distressed, grieved or full of sorrow.  When people say, "I'm sorry," it is different from saying "I'm sorry you had to go through that."  One use of sorry involves apologizing and the other expresses distress, grief or sorrow.  

Any thoughts on this?


Now for the reruns:





Elizabeth said...

So much beautiful stuff here -- the Sudanese family, your autoharp, your family memories -- all of it. Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth said...

And I love love love the paintings!

NewRobin13 said...

It is so kind and wonderful of you to teach the children the auto hrp. I love the photos. I'm so glad that the family is going to find a home there. Wonderful news.
Love seeing your paintings, am.

Sabine said...

In my early days of speaking English, I was 22 and living in Dublin, we got to know a Canadian woman through our work at the time and after visiting her, R remarked on how distinct a Canadian accent is - several of his father's sisters emigrated to Canada and he had met visiting cousins over the years. This made me listen up and I think it was my first experience of identifying an accent, slight but definitely there. I am sure there are many different Canadian accents but it was a learning experience and I have since fallen in love with accents.

What lovely times with the Sudanese kids you must have had.

37paddington said...

You likely have no idea how profoundly your gentle and loving autoharp interactions with the Sudanese children has already influenced the unfolding of their futures. What a gift you are giving to each other. No doubt you are meant to be this angel in the lives of this family, and your feeling that you had known the children's mother before only strengthens that idea in my mind.

Colette said...

I think if done with real meaning and intent, telling someone you are sorry when apologizing also involves distress and grief? I have apologized feeling intense distress and regret at times.