by Lori Dwyer on May 29, 2012 · 6 comments

We seem to be missing a few words, in the English language. Other cultures have developed words and phrases specifically for feelings and events that we only vaguely identify.

‘Esprit d’ escalier is French for “Dammit, that would have been the perfect come back but it is far too late to say it now!” (erm… literal translation “the spirit of the stairway“. I don’t know why, either.)  The Scots use the word ‘tartle‘ to describe that awkward moment when you’re expected to introduce someone but can’t remember their name. And any good Simpsons fanatic knows that ‘schadenfreude‘ is German for shameful joy- the bitter happiness that comes from watching another fail.

And, as Homer says.. those Germans have a word for everything.

I discovered ‘weltschmerz recently, and it’s a word I’ve been seeking for years now. It describes that feeling I’ve helplessly tried to articulate previously here- a depression caused by the weight of the sadness of the world.

The feeling of a whole Universe spread around you, and everyone suffering, everyone hurting.. and wondering what in God’s name the point of living is, if everyone just hurts and then dies again.

I like to name things, clarify them… there is a strange power in finding the perfect word for what you mean. The pen that is mightier than the sword.


Speaking of words…. I write and publish, on average, about 4000 of them a week. And I do my best to weigh every one of them, to own everything that rests on the pages, and I try to be aware of what I’m saying in the spaces, too- or what I’m neglecting to say at all.

But words are funny things… one of them, written late at night (massive) changes the whole context of what you were trying to say. (Mind your language… we’ve played this game before, folks.)

I’ve been meaning to write a post about how strange it is, being Professional Blog Lori, answering emails, submitting posts, putting myself out there. Rejection of any form In Real Life crumples me into a snotty mess of warm tears. Rejection online, professionally, barely causes me to blink- it doesn’t seem to bother me, and I don’t know why; but it’s such a relief, to have a small space in my conscious mind that isn’t a pressure cooker all the time.

But yesterday, I just didn’t have my thick skin on. As Maree says… it’s a heavy thing to carry. If I don’t feel like I need it, I put it down. Some comments felt like an actual physical dull thud in my abdomen.

I’m tempted to write a whole new post about breastfeeding, outline my beliefs (again)… but, quite frankly, I’m bored with it and can’t be fucked right now.

So I’ll just say… as someone who is fortunate enough to earn money off my writing, I’m more than aware of how careful I should be with every word I type, and how much potential scrutiny it’s under.

You will have to forgive me if, out of four thousand words a week, I fuck up one or two of them.


And now, onto the words I didn’t fuck up.

As part of my bid to dominate the world through pro blogging, I’ve contributed to an e-book. It has exclusive stories- meaning the only place you can read them is in the book– from all the best Aussie parenting bloggers; and includes such topics as school lunches, replying “In a moment, dear” to inanimate but noisy toys, falling in love with your newborn and quenching the urge to strangle your three year old.

Things They Didn’t Tell You is $.4.99, which you could probably raid from your kid’s money boxes right now if they’re at school, and all profits raised go toward getting a different type of kid to a different type of school altogether- Foundation 18 is an Aussie funded orphanage in Bali, started from the ground up by the arse kicking Cate Bolt– she’s got a story in the e-book too.

E-book? Check. The only drawback is- I’d actually forgotten all about the somewhat distressing incident I described in the Things They Didn’t Tell You, my memory being like a pair of trendy jeans with rips right up and down the front for things to fall out of; right up until I read it back to myself two weeks ago.

Memories, words, e-books… all those conceptual realities. They are strange and interesting things.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Svenja B May 30, 2012 at 1:24 am

I'm a german and I must say that I hardly ever heard the word Weltschmerz… but it's such a touching word.


Anonymous May 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Lori, look up the German word "sehnsucht". I think this is an even more important word for you to know.


Susan, Mum to Molly May 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I guess the nearest in English would be Lifeache, as explained by Leunig…



Anonymous May 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm

its "Weltschmerz" ;)


Miss Pink May 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Um wow, did I miss something you wrote because I read that post and commented, and I didn't see you writing anything anti-formula. Just that you liked that they had changed the wording from "Breastfeed" to "Breastfeed if you can."
Really people need to get off the wah wah everyone hates a forumla feeder train. It's getting old.


Spagsy May 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

Thanks for standing your ground regarding your previous post. If we wanted to read our own opinion spouted back to us we would read our own blog… Although I have my own opinion on SIDS guidelines I respect yours and the reasons behind it.

Xxrah rah in Melbs


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