moamiswriting

The new year will be the year of walking into fairy circles, smiling at glowing red eyes in corn fields, leaving flower crowns on gravestones, befriending every eerily unblinking cat and generally exposing yourself to every slightly surreal seeming phenomenon because we have nothing to lose and eldritch beings to gain as friends.

When an intergalactic mission reaches a critical point that threatens the life of the crew, when all is hopeless, and no other option is in sight, the captain of the crew must - if the crew includes a “human” - activate the WT protocol.

This measure should only be used in extreme circumstances, as its consequences are, despite impressive effectiveness, destructive and highly unpredictable.

If, however, the crew’s life and wellbeing are in danger, then the captain should turn to the “human” and clearly speak the following words:

“This is it. We will die here. There is no way out of this.”

The “human” will immediately direct their attention to their captain. Their answer should approximately be: “There’s always a way”, or “I’ll find something.”

It is crucial, then, that the captain performs the next sentence with as much condescension as can be mustered. They must look at the “human”, and say:

“What can a weak human like you even do?”

Immediately, distance must be brought between the remaining crew and the “human”. The protocol, if successfully initiated, will begin with a show of the “human’s” teeth in something called a “grin”, and the protocol words:

“Watch this.”

Bake bread, brew some tea, borrow kindness that you return, and bring some sweets to an old tree where ancestors of others rest. it knows when you are coming. it does not know when you will leave. but it knows, as certain as water will rise up its veins and sun will warm its crown, that you will keep going.

People often misunderstand what the old saying about a cat having nine lives means. The cats prefer to keep it a secret, as most humans can’t be trusted with information so fragile and precious, but there are exceptions.

The merchant who shares his leftover fish. The young girl that hides littler after litter of newborn ones in her room until they find new homes. The old man with scars who still has enough kindness to open his shed to let them slip in from the rain. Boys, teenagers, mothers, warriors, brothers - some are trusted.

Exceptions, yes, few nowadays and rare, but honoured all the more.

So nine lives there are indeed. Each cat is born with them and no matter the time or place, they are lost easily.

This is where the story ends for most people.

But for those who are trusted, those who wake up one morning and find a weird taste in their mouth, the scent of a forest never touched by human hands in their nose, and a strange lingering touch of whiskers on their forehead - they know the truth.

Nine lives for this world, is what all our legends used to say.

You, friend of cats, know the ancient, almost forgotten sayings.

You know of cat eyes shining in the deepest night when they shouldn’t be able to. You know of cats staring past your ear, at that forbidden spot right by the frayed corner of your vision, and you fear that if you look, your cat won’t be able to stare it into submission anymore. You don’t look. The cat purrs. You’re safe.

The kittens have all their lives still. They do not look at the edgewalking beasts that whisper through their humans’ house. It will take time until they fall, hurt, learn.

The oldest cats know so much that a touch of their paw will make an entire village shudder. Their quiet voices cast spells. Let them roam. You cannot imagine the things that flee from them as they walk in silence.

Cat friend, you know it in your heart.

You know of the paths they walk that human feet can’t find.

You know of the nights they vanish and return with the scent of blood, earth and salt in their fur, and when your fingers touch their coat, a cold shiver awakes your skin.

Sometimes, they hear things. You don’t know what, but you know enough to let them sit in front of your house or room, paws tucked under, dark stare never leaving an invisible spot in the air.

And when you float between sleep and life, when you’re unlucky enough to claw at the edge of death before you’re ready to go…

Then maybe, friend of cats, you’ll feel a brush of fur along your legs. Maybe, just before you startle with awe in your heart and wake once more, the same pair of eyes that should sleep by your side winks at you from another world.

anonymous asked:

Do you have a favourite german idiom? (+ literal english translation maybe )

One? Just one? No, my friend. I cannot do that.

I can, however, do more than twenty, and I can do them in alphabetical order based on the most important keywords involved in them. Not all of them are idioms, some are just things people like to say in certain situations, but all of them are amazing or interesting in their own way. (t. =  literal translation, m. = meaning)

abwarten und Tee trinken - t. to wait and drink tea, m. just wait and see

Wo man singt, da lass dich nieder; böse Menschen haben keine Lieder. - t. Where there’s singing, settle down; bad people don’t have songs. m. this is not exactly a typical saying, but an old piece of wisdom my grandmother always quotes.

Ich bin fuchsteufelswild! - t. I am foxdevilwild!, m. I am so goddamn angry right now

Himmel und Hölle in Bewegung setzen - t. to move heaven and hell, m. German equivalent for “to move heaven and earth”, but more badass

das ist ein Katzensprung - t. that is a cat’s jump, m. something is just a tiny distance away, only as far as a cat can jump!

auf den Keks gehen - t. to walk on someone’s cookie, m. to annoy someone, but much sweeter (get it? Okay, sorry.)

da kannst du Gift drauf nehmen - t. you can take poison on that, m. you can bet your life on that, it will definitely happen (how morbid, I love it)

die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt - t. (the) hope dies last

das Leben ist kein Ponyhof - t. life is no pony farm, m. life is tough and no fun, suck it up (a very German saying, also good for anyone that’s not into horses)

es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen - t. a master has never fallen from the sky, m. to master something you need to practice 

hinterm Mond leben - t. to live behind the moon, m. to be away from reality, lost in dreams, or not up to date with trends

hier spielt die Musik - t. the music plays here, m. usually said to get someone’s attention when they are distracted, often sarcastic or annoyed (or is that just me…)

in einer Nacht-und-Nebel-Aktion - t. in a night-and-fog-action, m. doing something secretly, away from the public, hidden (oooh spooky!)

jetzt haben wir den Salat - t. now we have the salad, m. look at this disaster that we now have 

sich freuen wie ein Schneekönig/Honigkuchenpferd - t. to be happy like a snow king/honey cake horse, m. to be very very happy (isn’t this cute?)

nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben - t. to not have all cups in the cupboard, m. that someone is crazy (obviously, with that many cups missing…)

das kommt mir spanisch vor - t. that seems Spanish to me, m. that something is suspicious or strange, because apparently emperor Karl V. once imported court etiquette from Spain that nobody understood and got confused by, amazing?

Was für ein Teufelskerl! - t. What a devil’s guy! m. a bit old-fashioned, but still cool; describes a really awesome, brave, or otherwise attention-pulling man

viel hilft viel - t. a lot helps a lot

den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen - t. to not see the forest because of all the trees, m. being unable to see the big picture because of distracting details

mit allen Wassern gewaschen sein - t. to be washed with/in all waters, m. someone who knows every trick in the book, is mischievous

Zieh dich warm an! - t. Dress warmly!, m. this is a threat. no, seriously, means that someone should prepare because you’re gonna do something very unpleasant to them soon

es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur falsche Kleidung - t. there is no bad weather, just wrong clothes, m. Germans are used to rain and it’s no reason to not do what you are supposed to be doing

Kommt Zeit, kommt Rat. - t. Comes time, comes advice. m. over time, a solution or advice will be found/appear

Those are all for now. Thank you for the ask, and let me know if you’d like more.

“I’ve caught one,” the fisherman screams, grinning at his hook stuck in the girl’s cheek. “I caught myself a mermaid!”

Her hair is green, algae curled around it. The fisherman’s grip is greed, is lust, when he rips at it to get her closer. Her mouth glints like a pearl and oh, he could sell her after he’s - well, once he’s done with that beauty of hers. “Aren’t you a pretty one,” he licks his lips, “and all mine. I caught you, so you’re mine.”

All at once, her song ends. No sound comes out of her mouth that stays open, teeth tiny and many, sharp in the slick night. She tugs the hook out of her cheek. The fisherman watches, his heart burning from how fast it runs against his flesh, as her wound closes up and a bit of blood drips from her little mouth.

“Yours,” the mermaid says. The sea echoes her voice, an accent he can’t define, oh who cares, she’s just - just prey - and her pupils snap into slits. “Yours?”

The ocean ripples.

The waves tremble.

The wind whispers, smiles, then stills to not disturb the song that rises once more.
“No,” whisper a thousand voices, whisper a million teeth, whispers ten thousands of stares in the water. “We caught you. You are ours.”

Subtle differences are of great importance in every language. German, for example:

zieh dir was Warmes an - “put on something warm”. This person is looking out for you and wants you to be careful when it’s cold outside.
zieh dich warm an - “dress warmly”. This is a declaration of war. The person saying this is looking to make sure that your body will never be warm again. 

When they called Latin a dead language, it was possibly the single most influential mistake ever made in the history of translation. Because - dead? Oh no.

Those that speak it, those few in today’s fast and worried times that still listen to the old words, that can decipher sentences and myths, they know. They felt something dark and old seep into their bones.

Not dead. A beginner’s mistake, really. And isn’t undead, as it should have been called if everyone had done their job properly, just another word for immortal - no matter if it refers to paper or flesh?

One day, the wise woman of the village called all the children to her house.

She sat with them in a circle, and they ate and sang together until the moon was high in the sky. The children had never been allowed to stay up as late. They were excited. Their tongues prickled with the spicy soup that the wise woman had given them.

When the fire was just a low glimmer of ash and wood anymore, the woman lifted her hand.

The children that had been laughing and chattering fell quiet.

The woman said: “Show me the palm of your hand, and tell me only the truth. Swear on it.”

“I swear,” said the children. Some whispered it, some barely got out the words, but all of them were shivering because they felt something old and large reach for their hearts. They didn’t know if it was the soup, the woman’s power, the moon, or just their own awe before the world and the night that made them speak truthfully.

The wise woman lowered her hand. She looked at one after the other. Her eyes were warm as the fire, dark as the moon’s shawl above.

“Speak what you wish to raise in your life.”

Everyone was silent for a long time.

The woman turned her head towards the first boy.

“Family,” the boy mumbled. Then, a bit louder, clutching his empty soup bowl, he looked at everyone with honey golden eyes, wide with kindness. “Mine and others.”

The old woman said nothing. Only her head moved from then on, and it pointed to the next, the next, one after the other.

And the children spoke.

“Health.”

“Knowledge.”

“Happiness.”

“Imagination.”

“Adventure.”

“Fun.”

“Strength.”

“Animals.”

While the children said their words, the old woman drank them in. She let then settle into her memory, anchored them where they were safe.

One day, when the children were of age, she would ask them again.

Some would have changed. If they had lost their path, she would remind them of their old words, of the dreams their hearts had forgotten about. That there was a way forward, in whatever direction it may run. If they had found another way for themselves, she would gift them their once-adored word still, so that they had something to always return to and would know that once feeling something did not mean that you wouldn’t ever feel something else.

And if the children still chose the same way, then it would be their time to raise something.

So the children spoke their words. Only two were left now and before the woman could turn her head, they spoke at the same time.

“Hell.”

“Myself.”

The other children shivered. For a long time, nothing moved. Even the fire seemed frozen in the moment. Finally, the woman tilted her head.

“What do you mean?” she asked the two. She hadn’t asked anyone else.

The first child stood up, hands curled into fists, eyes burning. “If anyone gets in my way, I’ll bring all of the world down on them!”

“I’m scared,” whispered one of the children.

The woman looked at the other child, whose eyes were calm as the dark sky above. “And you?”

“Myself,” said the child once more. “Nothing more and nothing less.”

The first child laughed. “That’s stupid. Just yourself? What can you do with that! When I’m older, the world won’t stand a chance against me.”

Before the second child could speak, the old woman stirred. She reached out for the child’s fingers and took them into her own. The other children watched, wary and confused.

“Before you raise any of your dreams,” said the old woman, a smile on her fire-warmed lips, “I want all of you to remember this.” And when the child who stood glared at her, she took its hand as well until it sat and put its head against her shoulder.

“Raise yourself, children, and you will stand against anything. Raise yourself, and the whole world will rise with you. Hell and heaven and every fear will fall if you hold yourself upright and look to the stars. And if you cannot rise anymore, stand. Stand. The horizon has been born for thousands of years, every morning and every night. Admire its strength, when you are weak, but do not forget:

You are the dawn. You are the dusk.

The world will follow. Raise all that you are, before anything else.”