There are plenty of great Spanish words that just seem to convey a thought better than any English word I know. Trámite comes to mind (my dictionary tries to convince me that the translation is procedure or the steps involved in getting something done, but that sounds pretty innocuous, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled. (You can find out more about trámites and other fun Chile-friendly words in the Chilenismos section).
But I’m not here today to talk about the bureaucratic red tape and fancy footwork it seems to take to get things done. (Although I certainly could, because I just got my “carné de identidad”—state ID card—renewed…
Oh no. Today I’m thinking about “Enredos” (en-RAY-dos) and things that get Enredado (en-ray-DAH-doh), as in tangled, snarled, gnarled, knotted, twisted, in a bunch, and all messed up. Sure, you can take that as face value—as in, “the cat got into the knitting basket and now the yarn is all enredada (because yarn is lana, and lana is feminine, because things have genders in Spanish, and gendered things get special treatment: boy things end in o and girl things end in a).
But practical as the face value approach may be, I’m feeling rather metaphorical today—because, well, why not let the mind wander a bit and be more creative on a delightful Friday evening in fall (wait–need a second on this one? Chile is southern hemisphere, which means that March is most definitely fall… unless you’re from someplace that calls it autumn)…
And if we’re in a metaphorical state of mind, it’s pretty easy to see how not only things–but thoughts–can easily become enredados (not enredadas, like yarn, because thoughts are pensamientos, which are masculine—and let’s not even start down the path to wondering why pensamientos are masculine when there are certainly plenty of good female thoughts around. And now that I think about it, thoughts may be pensamientos and therefore masculine words, but that sure doesn’t make them manly words, and I should probably just stop—and I will in a minute—but first I’ll just add that since pensamientos are also plural, any adjectives hanging around with them get the plural treatment as well, meaning that when thoughts are tangled up in Spanish, they are enredados, with an s…and well—you don’t really care about all that right now…)
See where I’m going with this? (bear with me a moment longer!) When a thing, or a thought, or an idea, or a plan is unnecessarily complex, twisted, and, well, hard to unravel (see how cleverly I worked that yarnish metaphor in there?), it is enredado.
So why am I yammering on about endredos (the noun form of tangled up things)? You’ve probably guessed—it’s because I’ve been a bit enredada (with an a, because it refers to me, a female—though often not all that feminine—type person, so we’ll just give that adjective an A for effort (though you’d probably have had to go to school in the US to understand what the heck THAT was all about)…
Get on with it you say?
Why, that’s just what I was thinking!
Here’s the thing… for all sorts of reasons, I fell off the blogging bandwagon last year… and finally I’m ready to let the posts fly again… But after having been away so long, I’ve gotten my blog post-planning brain in a knot trying to figure out where to begin!
My rather linear mind wants me to go back and start where I left off… uf! ugh! and sigh…
My travel notes beg to be written up and share space with all those lovely photos I’ve made while traveling more than my fair share of late.
My rational brain (yes, I do have one) is still trying to make sense of the coin toss that resulted when I asked readers whether I should expand the blog beyond Chile or start another blog for the traveling me.
So, you know what? I’m just going to go with it. I’m going to jump right into that tangle of thoughts, images, stories, and “blog fodder” (thanks yet once again to Eileen and her clever word-smithery for that most appropriate expression) and start writing.
There’s no real reason to pour things out in chronological order. I invented that rule and I am now taking back the power, getting back in the saddle, gearing up the typing fingers, and going to take each post as it comes.
Cachando Chile will always be mostly Chile, but I’m going to start including reflections and photos from other places I travel. I’ve lived in Chile long enough that it is always my point of comparative reference. So even if I write about Morocco, there’s likely to have some thread back to Chile. And if not, we’ll just call it blogger’s creative/literary license. So here goes… I’m back and have plenty to say!