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Concept of the month November 2009: REST

Four weeks ago I broke my collarbone whilst playing my beloved football. This soon provided plenty of possible subjects for this month’s blog: painkiller, sling, waiting room, team spirit or simply collarbone.

However, what it all boils down to when you suffer a fracture, is rest. Rest comes in various shapes, such as sitting back, lying down, watching, waiting and letting go. Each of which I have great trouble with, as one of the obvious reasons I am a freelancer is that it allows me to step out for a bike ride, a run or a game of football whenever I like. It is only afterwards that I could take a rest.

In Dutch they say “Rust roest”, which literally means: rest rusts, implying taking a breather will get you nowhere. Given the key role 'rest' is deemed to play in recovery, this is a surprisingly negative interpretation. Suddenly, rest means laziness. Perhaps this is why in similar expressions, Spanish and English leave the word ‘rest’ in peace, so to say.

In truth, it must be the corresponding sounds of both words that joined them in this phrase, which is pronounced something like ‘rirst roost’. It turns out that in Dutch the beauty of the form sometimes prevails over meaning. I must say, that in itself is a thought that puts my mind at rest.

Cormorants resting
Cormorants resting
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Pepijn de Boer MA

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