Friday, May 26, 2006

Sushi and Sorrow

The last time we went out, just the two of us, I was pregnant with our baby and he's six now. Click on the photos to find out more about our most excellent adventures. I would say more but I'm afraid I would run out of superlatives.


Echo said...

Why sorrow?

No years wasted
years cherished
now new things to cherish
Always another cycle
Forage for life.

Anonymous said...

I got the allusion right off the bat there, Echo.

The second picture is a link to a play about the Stanley Brothers. The name of the play is "Man of Constant Sorrows". I'm rather doubting that the Contrary Goddess was much sorrowful about it.

Applachain folk are the purest form of the Celtic Diaspora, people for whom sorrows aged and distilled through the years are to be savored for the essence of their sadness.

My own better half feels cheated if she sees a play or a movie that doesn't send her into tears.

"I am a man of constant sorrow,
I've seen trouble all my day."

An Irish fellow I knew (VP of a company I did work for), and a Celt through and through, gave me a keen insight into the Celtic soul, and my own ancestory (My proper last name is just a straight Gaelic word). I had listened to various songs sung in Gaelic and when later I learned to read the lyrics, I was astounded to find that the lively, merry tunes were set to ghastly lyrics about grisley fights and beheadings where everyone was dead and undone in the end (in that order). And the slow mornful tunes almost like funeral dirges were sweet love songs.

He explained that the Celtic mind loved to fight, was only happy when fighting, and was quite merry and enthused about it. But the same mind assumed it would lose at love, or at least its love would come to no good end.

I don't know if the Contrary Goddess is a Celt, the odds are that she is because that's who peopled this whole area. But if she is, it is only logical that she'd go out and have a good time with a draught of unmixed sorrow.

the Contrary Goddess said...

oh yeah, I'm a Celt. And sorrow is sweet. Particularly that high lonesome sound.

Bluegrass seems particularly popular in Japan. Japanese culture seems particularly polite, like the Celts, and indirect. Our waiter was able to show us how to eat sushi very politely. So the sushi and the show went very well together.

Jim & Jessee are from my hometown. Maybe Barter will do a show about them next (since they've done the Carter Family and Stanley Brothers now).

madcapmum said...

You know, I've got to say this. My mother used to board Asian college students, and yes, they were very "polite" and "indirect". It didn't seem like a great system though. They'd say whatever they thought you wanted to hear, and then simply not show up or whatever it was they'd agreed to. It wasn't just a cultural mix-up either, because they'd do the same thing to their parents (and vice versa), and there would be huge long-distance telephone rows in the night over the various things people on either end had been led to believe.

And I really don't understand what you mean when you say that Southerners are "indirect" because I've known several in the flesh who wandered up this way, and then you and Eleu, and I can't imagine people more apt to say exactly what's on their minds.

Anonymous said...

I can see how one might be confused. Some things seem more direct than you are used to. For example, in the south it is perfectly polite to ask directly of perfect strangers what their religion is, what church they go to. On the other hand you'd NEVER ask what something costs directly.

The conversation would begin with something along the lines of "How much you reckon a body would get for something like that?"

Then it might lead into what apparently baffles outsiders: reverse haggling.

"Oh, I don't know. Real good ones, new ones, I've heard go for quite a bit. But this one's not in good shape as you can see. I probably can't get more than $50 for it so I might as well keep it."

"Now, I'd say it was worth at least $500. 'Course I don't have that much to put into one now. If I was you, I'd hold out for at least $450, leastwise $400."

"With that dent there and that scratch? I wouldn't think more than $100."

"Times have been I'd have offered you $300 and not thought a thing of it. But you know how times are now."

"Yeah, things get much tougher I'd be lucky to get $250 out of it."

"Well, got to get going."

"Stay awhile."

"Ya'll come and see us."

"Now you come up any time."

"You say you'd take $250?"

"Yeah, I suppose, $250."


the Contrary Goddess said...

Eleu's explanation amuses me. And 'tis true. And 'tis right that I've learned to be direct when it furthers the cause of understanding. Very direct.

But it reminds me of a thing I heard on Mountain Stage or some such. A Celtic musician said he'd been touring around and when he was in a culture (NYC) that was "less indirect", he'd been offered a cup of tea, said "no thanks", and had never been so surprised in his life, but he hadn't gotten a cup of tea!

Which also happened to me the other day. Someone offered me a piece of pizza. I said no thanks. He started giving me all this other stuff, stuff I really didn't want. Finally I broke and said, well, what I'd really like is a piece of that pizza. He said, but you SAID you didn't! I said, you are in the south now, and here you have to say 'no thanks' at least once no matter what you are offered or it is impolite.