Semantic notions about life: an exploration of words and signs, and the stories they are trying to tell.

em·pa·thy

em·pa·thy

Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, Portland, OR, USA

Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, Portland, OR, USA

em·pa·thy /empəTHē/

Noun. The ability to understand, share, identify with or vicariously experience the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another; the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.

Part I

I’ve studied just one foreign language in my lifetime. Spanish. Only briefly, during my last two years of high school, but at a rapid pace, and absorbed enough to test out any college requirements. My teacher, Señor Mason, had a very specific method for memorization that involved writing the English words along the left margin on lined wide-ruled paper, the Spanish equivalent next to each. Then he would have us fold the sheet vertically like an accordion, to cover up the answers, creating a series of columns to quiz ourselves over and over again until we got it right.

I still carry a number of words and their respective meanings with me. Verbs, mostly. Bailar is to dance. Buscar is to seek. Sentir is to feel.

There is also a part of a phrase I’ve never forgotten. Si yo fuera tú… an advisory lead-in that translates to, “If I were you…”

There was a time where I could recite a number of possible endings.

Si yo fuera tú, aprendería a cocinar.

If I were you, I would learn how to cook.

Si yo fuera tú, te pediría indicaciones.

If I were you, I would ask for directions.

Si yo fuera tú, me iría.

If I were you, I would leave.

Si yo fuera tú… si yo fuera tú...?

There’s no right way to complete this sentence now. Because there are so many ways. Because there are all of the ways. Because there is never a time that is not in the shoes of the “you.”

The beauty of being an empath is you feel the everything of others.

The challenge of being an empath is you feel the everything of others.

It’s not the brain that becomes fluent, but the heart. Each beat a bilingual reminder. Sientes todo. You feel the everything.

Sientes todo.

You feel the everything.

soul

soul

voice | les·son

voice | les·son