Sunday, September 10, 2017

Therapy

History can be thought of as a series of possible explanations arranged around a list of dates. Generally speaking you and I cleave to the explanation we find most therapeutic and happy making. And it's the same with something like the science of climate change or whether Moles can be trapped or whether the current president of the United States has all his marbles.  Naturally, History as a therapeutic device, has Grocery Store type feel good flexibilities that depend upon the vagaries of mood and daytime temperatures. Yes indeed, it's a long way from something like electric shock therapy, or having your arm chopped off if you don't buy a loaf of bread. Both of which are therapies much better designed to boot a person into a more grounded sense of immediacy.

Recently I have found it therapeutic to ponder the origins of the names given to countries. Canada, for example, has several possible origins for its name found in rough and ready translations of the aboriginal languages by French, English, Venetian, Spanish and Portuguese explorers and fishermen. "The Land of Villages" is one possible misunderstanding of something that sounded like Canada. "I don't know" or "without a plan" is yet another possible misunderstanding.  Kenya, is named after a mountain, which once had snow caps and eleven glaciers, and which in most regional languages has a name that sounds kind of like Keen-ya, or kin-ya but variously translates to the English  as "The Mountain of Whiteness" or "God's Resting Place" and there are probably many others.

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