Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife.  
The first question was, "Did you bring joy?"  
The second was, "Did you find joy?"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Soothsayer was Right

I love accents. Ever since I was a kid I have listened to the way other people talk, whether they are from a foreign country or from right down the street, and if I hear a sound that I like coming from a word I've never heard pronounced that way, I immediately put that sound into that word, wrap my mouth around it and speak it right out loud. This can seem a little rude, I imagine, and some people have thought I was making fun of them, but it is uncontrollable....

Learning how to speak in other accents is, to me, like digesting the best chocolate mousse in the best restaurant in the world, the sounds melt and warm and excite me all at the same time. I traveled once to Australia with a dear friend, who I think may have come close to throttling me because of my constant repeating of what everyone said. The Australian accent is hard, very very hard, for me.... and for a few brief-shining moments after copy catting everyone in Bellingen Australia, I had it down.

Those were proud moments indeed.

So, you can imagine the pure rapture that I had when a Wise Woman, who is also an astrologer, Gretchen, told me on Sunday last that this was the perfect time for me to travel and that accents were going to be an integral and important part of my trip. In fact, she repeatedly told me that learning accents might be at the heart of why I am supposed to go to Europe right now.

This was like angels coming down and telling a chubby kid who is often mocked for her size that the only way to turn into the beautiful creature she dreams of is to sit down and eat everything in sight.

Now, you may or may not believe in astrology, and I often say that I use it not as prophecy, but as a great tool for meditating on things that may or may not be happening in my life. But when I stepped onto the plane.... I mean, when I literally took the first step onto the aircraft that was taking me from Seattle, WA to New York City and the first leg of my trip, the man in front of me turned to talk to his wife who was following behind me and out came the most beautiful Yorkshire accent you have ever heard. Think "Wallace and Gromit", or "Chicken Run", or "All Creatures Great and Small". I learned the Yorkshire accent for a production of "The Secret Garden" at Seattle Children's Theatre a few years ago and those sounds in particular are some of the most delicious to me and there I was, moment one of my grand adventure, being swaddled by them.

So, I'm happy to report that I began my journey contentedly mumbling to myself as that couple and their two sons sat in front of me on the plane and bathed me in "somats" (something) and "oy"s and big round vowels and rolling "r's and I knew right then that my blessed friend Gretchen, the soothsayer, was right: This is the perfect time for me to travel!

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