30 December 2009

A Clean Sweep!

There is a very useful phrase in Spanish when you want to make a new beginning. The phrase is "borrar y cuenta nueva" or "erase and start over" as in:

Ahora es tiempo de borrar y cuenta nueva.
Now it is time to erase and start over.

I always think of this phrase at the end of the year. There is another phrase that also serves me well at this time of New Year celebrations. The phrase is "a barrer parejo" or "a clean sweep". Make a note that "borrar", "to erase", and barrer", "to sweep" are two very similar sounding but different verbs so be careful that you don't get them mixed up. An example of a sentence using "a barrer parejo" would be:

Para este año nuevo vamos a barrer parejo, quitando todo lo negativo para que llege la prosperidad.
For this year let's make a clean sweep, getting rid of everything negative so that prosperity can flourish.

In other words, what we need for prosperity to flourish is another type of flourish called the "Podsnap flourish". In fact, I suggest that we Gringos adopt the Podsnap flourish as a national gesture. Many of you may remember that the name Podsnap comes from a character called Mr. Podsnap in a book by Charles Dickens called "Our Mutual Friend". Mr Podsnap had a habit of making a particular flourish of his right arm by reaching out and sweeping all of his troubles behind him and thus clearing the the way ahead. He simply banished from existence whatever disagreeable worry that he was confronted with and put it out of sight and out of mind. The Mexican people have learned to do this a long time ago. Whenever they are confronted by a disagreeable problem they simply say:

No te procupes. Mañana vamos a solucionar.
Don't you worry. Tomorrow we will find a solution.

I have not yet reached the state nirvana of Mr. Podsnap or my Mexican brethren but I do believe that I am making progress in banishing disagreeable worry from my life. To continue to do so will be the only resolution that I carry forward into the new year. I have found that most of the things that I have worried about either never came to pass or when they did were found to be manageable. This is not to say that I will avoid caution...but caution and worry are two different things.

This New Year's Eve I am going to watch the ball descend in Times Square in New York City at eleven p.m. here local time and then head for the Feather Ball. I remember that when I was a kid we were allowed to stay up past midnight on New Year's Eve and it was quite exciting. Every year just before midnight my Dad would turn on the radio and the dulcet tones of Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadian Orchestra would come floating over the air in the form of Auld Lang Syne and as the clock struck midnight all of the relatives would start kissing and hugging and yes...even crying. I got my share of smothering hugs and bit wet kisses (blah!). Now I would give anything just to be able to go back and savor a New Year's Eve like that one more time, big wet kisses and all. May God bless Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. "The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven" is no doubt now actually playing in Heaven and I hope and pray that all my folks who have gone before me are there to enjoy it. Guy Lombardo died in 1977 but they still play a recording of his "Auld Lang Syne" every year at the New Year's extravaganza in Times Square.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.

We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.


Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

A very Happy New Year to you and Gina.

Abrazos para los dos!

Betty said...

Thanks, I love this song.

Don Cuevas said...

Un Feliz y Próspero Año, Bob y Gina y a todos.

Don Cuevas

One Small Voz said...

Happy New Year Bob!

GlorV1 said...

Happy New Years to you and Gina. The sky is so cloudy I can see the moon;(. Maybe later it will clear a little. Enjoy.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.