His Confusion Mirrors My Understanding

As far as I know, last night’s threats of tornadoes in our immediate vicinity did not pan out. The forest surrounding the house remains standing. To my knowledge, the roof above my head in intact. While carnage and devastation may be widespread nearby, I cannot see it. So, all is right with the world. That is the way we sometimes see things. As long as we’re all right, we’re satisfied. No matter that blood may cover the highways and byways all around us; if it is not visible, it does not impinge on our ability to enjoy a carefree existence. Yet what good does it do to ferret out bad news? Especially if there is little or nothing we can do to lessen its impact? I have mixed feelings about that.

Once again, the products of British curiosity have expanded my own interest in and knowledge about matters about which I knew very little. This time, the revelation surrounds a term for a dying language, Kouri-Vini. Kouri-Vini is a language—whose origins have beebn traced to Louisiana—the roots if which are based in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Also known as Creole, the language, whose name (Kouri-Vini) comes from the Creole pronunciation of the French verbs “courir” (to run) and “venir” (to come). According to a article on the BBC.com website (part of a BBC series called Rediscovering America), along with some supporting materials, the language is spoken by fewer than 6,000 people. But the language is experiencing something of a resurgence as young people who live in, or have connections to, the the 22-parish region of south-west Louisiana known as Acadiana are making efforts to reclaim the language. Interest in recapturing the language is growing among both professional linguists and people whose heritage includes Creole culture. When I hear Kouri-Vini spoken, I hear the unique sounds of French, combined with “something else” I cannot quite put my finger on; it is at once pleasing to the ear and exotically “foreign.” Though I have hear bits and pieces of it all my life, and though I have known about “Creole” for about as long, it was only this morning that I encountered the term, Kouri-Vini. And that experience was thanks to the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC.


The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.

~ Molly Ivins ~

In other news this morning, I read about a 40-year-old man, Mark Muffley, who checked bags at the Lehigh Valley International Airport for  an Orlando-bound flight. The bags contained explosives, hidden in the lining of a rolling suitcase. I suppose we will hear more about that situation—or not—as the investigations into the matter play out. And I skimmed an article about the case involving allegations against South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who is on trial for the murder  of his wife and son. The facts of the case seem ripe for incorporation into a crime novel and/or crime drama and/or crime documentary. But why the case is so prominent in national news stories when there are so many other stories which could have far greater potential effects on our society is a mystery to me. And Aljazeera reports that Turkey has launched a probe into 612 people in connection with the catastrophic building collapses caused by the recent earthquakes. I looked for positive, heart-warming stories—meaningful reports that would offer evidence of humankind’s generosity and goodness. Apparently, that section of the news has been censored for some reason. Or there’s an intrinsic lesson there, buried under layer upon layer of irrelevance.


I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

~ Jack Kerouac ~

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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