Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Beware. Gracie is starting to use obscure French words to title her blog posts. Bad sign.

But I do have a purpose. I ran across the word on an "untranslatable words" website (you know you're a nerd when these tidbits of information give you unparalleled delight). Dépaysement is a feeling that comes from not being in one's home country. At first, this word seems to imply location. That is, dépaysement occurs when one is not in the literal country in which one was born. But the more I have mulled this idea over in my head (yes, this is what English majors do), the more it seems to mean much more than location. And much more than earth.

After all, although we can feel "at home" in certain earthly locations, isn't there always some sort of homesickness for something else? It's something that we find difficult to name or pin point, because we don't know what exactly it is that we miss. In that regard, I think all humanity experiences some form of dépaysement.

Why is it, then, that even in our moments of greatest joy (perhaps, even more in these moments), we find ourselves longing for something greater? It's because we were created for something better. In short, we are homesick for our home country. I think C.S. Lewis is right when he says, "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world." The idea of dépaysement, then, becomes something that, far from inspiring feelings of misery, provides us with glimpses of our future hope.

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