Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Click on image for larger version of text

I came across this the other day and thought it worth sharing.

In 1963, many moons ago, I was an "au pair" boy in France. They called the male of the species "moniteur" and, as well as looking after four young lads, aged between 9 and 15, I was to teach them sailing, tennis, and, of course, English.

The teaching is another story and I have briefly touched on that part of my life as a language teacher here.

The point of this post is simply to share the gift they gave me when I was leaving (above).


me said...

You got that job under false pretenses! Sailing and tennis??

I know you did some sailing but it was years later :)

Póló said...

I obviously missed out on what could have been a dazzling career in PR/Advertising.

Or even spoofing my way to the top like many a one I've met in this life.

Don't expect to meet many of them in the next life, though.

Next life? What next life?

Anonymous said...

Can I get a translation? D.

Póló said...

In response to D who asked for a translation.


There are those in this life
to whom we are related
not by blood
but by the heart

True friendship
shares our joy
comforts our sorrow
eases our pain
supports us in weakness
and endures in God

This is beautifully written in French and I find it hard to capture it fully in English. For example: “parents” in French means both parents and relations; a mismatch between English and French syntax makes it difficult to faithfully render and keep the flow of the four verbal clauses (you can't smile joy); and I had difficulty finding a single word to catch the meaning of “s'étenise”, which here means something on the lines of “finds its eternal expression in” or “bonds/binds forever in” “ultimately leads us to” God.

As an unbeliever, this reference to God doesn't put me off in the least as I see it in a generic sense as simply and expression of something above and beyond ourselves, though at the same time it clearly has lots of connotations which resonate with my baggage.

I'll come back to this if better versions strike me and, of course, I'm open to suggestions.