Worst-alternative title: Or How I Finally Looked Up Esoteric
And the day came when the risk of remaining in bud became more painful than the risk of blooming. -Anais Nin; translation help by deepl.com
So. Like. The other morning I came across a camper with this text printed in small letters on its side. Although not the first time I’ve seen text, sayings, quotes on campers, this one seemed to rise above the level of bumper sticker superficiality, e.g. “camp now or your kids will with the money you leave them”. For one worst-thing, I had to read it several times to get it to sink in. Then I had to look up the words Knospe (flower bud) and verharren (remaining). The problem is, being the thick headed wannabe failed writer that I am, I immediately associated this text with two possible things. The first is something akin to esotericism. And the other… Well. Don’t you know, dear worst-reader. It feels kinda sexual. But that’s just worst-moi.
As you may or mayn’t worst-know, dear worst-reader, my German is pretty good. I especially enjoy reading it–which I obviously don’t do enough. But there are times when things just go over my head. My better-half, for example, has the habit of inserting nuanced German into our discourse and boy does she throw me for loops. I also have problems dealing with dialects. I can’t worst-tell you how many times I’ve requested someone speak high-German but then receive the flip-off which abruptly ends the conversation. Also, if I’m in a crowded room and there’s lots of people talking (loudly) I get lost trying to concentrate on what’s being said to me. Needless to say. My ability to speak German, even after all these years, will always be somewhat limited.
I came across the owner of the van one morning and inquired as to the meaning of her bumper sticker. Aware that German is a second language to me, she proceeded to explain the sentence, gently. She said she discovered it years ago and has lived by it ever since. I tried to explain to her that, other than the two words I had to look up, I kinda understood the sentence but was interested in how she perceived it. I even compared it to sayings like it’s not the destination but the road travelled or the seed not having yet become the tree. Obviously for her, the sentence is nuanced and my superficial comparison held no water. But she remained vigilant and patient explaining things to me. Until…
While she dramatised Knospe by folding, dancing, embracing her fingers and hands, explaining how things blossom, especially how life blossoms, I rudely interrupted her and blurted out the question: is this an esoteric thing?
Esoteric: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialised knowledge or interest. -a dictionary
“Oh no, oh no. Not esoteric. Esoteric is something else,” she said.
My problem with all things Knospe (flower bud) in the context of way-of-life, life choices, living, etc., is that it’s… wait for it… it’s all about sex. Having approached a stranger, though, inquiring about something she’s published about herself on the side of her camper van, isn’t the appropriate venue for worst-writer to start-on about all-things sex (in the written or worst-written word). I’m not worst-writing (talking) about procreation sex, mind you, dear worst-reader. But sex as in the sexes, which may or mayn’t include things like emotion, love, fulfilment, happiness, etc. And as the camper lady continued to teach me about the saying that she’s lived by for years I couldn’t help but wonder why she shut down my assumption about esotericism. Is esotericism really so far off the mark? She certainly seemed to think so. Is worst-writer so far off the mark? Or should I have got-on about Knospe being all about sex?
I’ve since googled the text and it turns out that it’s a quote from Anais Nin. Which is kinda cool as it reassures me that my assumption of all-things sex wasn’t far off the mark. I remember reading Nin’s book of letters and correspondence she had with Henry Miller. What a turbulent and passionate affair those two must have had in 1930s Paris. Theirs is/was the type of physical love I sought out in my youth. Oh how my lovers misinterpreted my passions as being purely carnal. Oh how much I regret not being able to express my desire for physical love betterly. Which brings me back to being told the esoteric has no place in the realm of the Knospe. For. The thing is. Dear worst-reader. As I translated the text into English in order to understand it better I quickly realised being shutdown for misinterpreting someone’s emotions is probably a good thing. And I’ll leave it at that.
I’ll also carry this text with me for a while.
Rant and love on.