I’m still basking in all of our Paris glory and present this picture that Chloe took on Friday as evidence (it’s fun looking back at the photos). We also took some simple videos of us in and around town (can you really call Paris a “town?”) and was looking at those today, too. Each one begins with the question, “Où sommes-nous?” (Where are we?). You see, Melinda wants us to keep a video record of our French experiences by asking this question and then getting each of us to answer it — in French, of course. So I was watching these and in pretty much every one of them I’m the one asking the “où sommes-nous” question, given I’m the one with the camera, I guess. I also took to ending the videos by telling the girls and Melinda in French to, “Say goodbye.” I tell you, you want to really see how much you’re muffing a foreign language? Record yourself speaking it. So here I am today watching/listening to these videos and each time I tell the girls to “say goodbye” (“Dites au revoir”), it sounds like I’m telling them to “say have” (“Dites avoir).” Frankly, it’s embarrassing.
That got me thinking of other simple French words I’m messing up. I came up with the word “maintenant” which means “now.” I swear my junior high French teacher taught the class to run the sounds all together, creating some kind of two syllable contraction that sounds something like “manaw.” Having gotten to know the Boudeaus better and in this context their daughter, I think my saying “now” often sounded more like “Manon,” her name, than anything else. I’ve learned I need to slow down when I say “now,” maybe making it into three syllables – “man-te-naw.”
You might want to try it, too. Slow down “now” into three syllables, maybe even more. Be mindful of the present. Do the dishes to do the dishes. That sort of thing. Eckhart Tolle, are you listening?