Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm afraid of Americans

....said David Bowie.

This has been a big month for perspectivation. We have, staying with us, a teenager from France. We've also spent some time this month with a young man from Peru.

They both have shared (not without significant prompting on my part) their insights about Americans.

"Americans are cold"
"Americans eat at McDonald's every day"
"Americans are loud"

We can, certainly, be all those things. We can also be better things, and worse things, but the whole discourse has been a welcome opportunity to analyze my own prejudices.

It's hard to perspectivate (we made this word up, fyi, but you may certainly adopt it for your own use), however, without having any frame of reference, and I think this is the biggest challenge as we all live in pretty small circles and don't travel nearly as much as the Europeans (or, as it turns out, the Peruvians) do.

Following are your words for the day. Both mean the same thing, "dragonfly," first in French and then in Spanish. I love how they sound.

libellule (lee-bay-lool)
libélula (lee-bay-loola)

This came up in conversation this weekend, as we were camping (with the aforementioned foreign visitors) and we were tubing down a large, beautiful river. There were literally swarms of beautiful many-colored dragonflies around us.

I was prompted to look up the symbolism of the dragonfly (having never given those little guys much thought) and it turns out they are representative of the following:

Defeat of Self Created Illusions

Focus on living in the moment

The opening of one’s eyes

Maturity and Depth of Character

In many regions and as a norm of this day, the dragonfly is considered to be an agent of change and presumably symbolic of a sense of self realization. Self realization from how the dragonfly uses its power to control its movements and so elegantly. And change and evolution is all about the dragonfly’s ability to fly and he way it can be comfortable on water, land as well as in the air.

I just LOVE it when the universe hands me a lesson.

Note....when I pulled up the translation website...there was an ad for McDonalds at the bottom of the page. Food for thought. ;)

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