Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What you're seeing as the title of this post, provided that the little "v" type symbol over the "z" showed up, (and I can't type the name of that symbol without using it in its own name) is pronounced in Slovak something like "oozh" where the "oo" has the sound it has in "book" rather than "boon."

 In English "už" traslates to "already," but there's more to it that is somewhat idiomatic, at least for how it's used in my family.  I have never heard it used in a positive sense as in, "It's time for the party already!" but rather always with a built in sense of regret as in a Slovak dirge that was often sung graveside.  In "Už Idem do Hrobu" (Already I Am Going to the Grave) there is what has to be the deepest sense of regret expressed in that "už" as there can possibly be.  "Already, my life is over!"  And that's how I've always heard the word used - with a heaping helping of regret thrown in, or in another sense that I'll explain in just a minute.

And thus this enigma that is me (That "me" should be "I" because of the linking verb requiring a subjective case complement, but I'm out of school now.) isn't even out of school for a week, but is feeling a tickle of už in having already had my first full day off, the breakfast that I'd looked forward to for months eaten, my first weekend off, and my first couple of scooter days of the summer spent.  I heave a sigh in realizing that some of my vacation is already behind me, rather than looking forward to the many days to come of sleeping late and tending to few responsibilities.  

Here comes the other connotation of "už.!  It was my daddy who always used it this way.  When I'd do something prematurely, or hurriedly, either because of a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm that couldn't be contained, or in haste to get something distasteful over with, I'd hear his booming voice.  "Už!"  It always stopped me in my tracks to reconsider how I was going about doing what I was doing and how I'd need to adjust my attitude, my speed, or both.

I can hear that voice of his even now, admonishing me to stop looking behind me at what's past, and to stop lamenting the future when soon enough I'll return to work.  And his isn't the only voice.  Loved ones who know me well enough can command in a single raised eyebrow the same attention as Dad's commanding bellow.

So, I'm going to do my best to live in the present this summer.  To savor every minute of this blessed freedom as I can while it's here and now.  Until my Slovak kicks in.


Doug Klassen said...

Could be worse, Joe, you could be doing 40+ hour weeks in a steel mill and then get just two weeks off before you go back to the heat, the sweat, and the danger.

Rejoice, my friend, you have it very, very good.

bob skoot said...


I wished that I had every summer off, just like you

Riding the Wet Coast