Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 27. Saber, Conocer, a wheelbarrow, & a suitcase SOLD

In Spanish, there are 2 ways to express the concept "to know."

Loosely, you use the verb "conocer" (koh-noh-SAIR) to indicate that you have met/been introduced to someone or that you are familiar with something--that you know "of it."  For instance, you could be aware of say, New York City--that it exists, but you really know nothing about it nor have you ever been there.  On the other hand, you have the verb "saber" (sah-BAIR).  You use this verb to indicate that you know facts; you have deep knowledge of something.  Let's go back to the New York City example. We have one person who has heard of it, but has no knowledge of it/nor has been there (conocer) vs. Woody Allen, someone who has lived there his entire life and knows the city's every nook and cranny--someone who has even made a film, Manhattan, about his deep love/knowledge/tribute to the city.  He's a "saber." (-;

Now, my mind, it be a ramblin', and I'm letting it.  Somehow I think of William Carlos Williams' poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow."

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

 Ah, beautiful.  You can see the image, can't you?  Simple.  But that phrase, "so much depends upon."  Why, those 4 words change everything!  You stare at the scene before you, nothing that hasn't been there perhaps hundreds of times before.  But somehow, the image triggers something in your brain--some feeling of complete happiness in the beauty of an ordinary item or somehow this time, something elicits a completely different feeling.  What the h-e-double-toothpick am I talking about?  Read on, brave souls!

I have a good friend who was going through a crisis in her marriage.  On a weekend getaway with her children in tow, a platonic, male friend accompanied her.  Over the two-day trip, he opened doors for her, carried her suitcase, spoke to her kindly and easily.  In essence, he acted the way a man should courteously and respectfully treat a woman.  She was unaccustomed to such natural, generous treatment.  She decided to try a test when she got home.  She left her suitcase at the front door upon her arrival. What would be her husband's reaction to this?  The suitcase sat there all evening.  It remained in its stationary position by the door throughout the next day and into evening.  Her husband walked past it continually, but never did he think to pick up his wife's luggage and carry it upstairs for her, just...because.  The dichotomy of actions she received from a friend versus her mate in regards to that suitcase... It sat by that doorway, throbbing more and more loudly with meaning, until it took her through a different door and a new life.

so much depends 

a wheel


so much depends

a suit

When does the meaning of a representational "something" (marriage, weight loss, job, anything) change from a "conocer" to a "saber?"  When do you look at something and really understand--know--it's meaning?

No comments:

Post a Comment