Posted by: gdevi | October 7, 2014

Linguistics and Scarves

No, it is not the name of a new Tom Waits album, but Linguistics and Scarves is what happened in class today. I have lots of beautiful scarves–I have no weaknesses whatsoever for anything, but I love scarves, and I have lots of beautiful scarves from all over the world–friends and family gift me scarves scarves scarves– so anyway I was wearing one of my beautiful pashmina scarves today, and one of my students interrupted me while I was reviewing stress patterns and tonal languages. Dr. Devi, she said, from the back. Yes? I asked K. Can you show me how you wear your scarf? K asked. It looks so interesting. How do you knot it? K. asked me. A well deserved break, I  said. Let me show you. So I undid the scarf and showed the class how to knot it the way I had it done today–the double loop knot. They were all very impressed. Good; you didn’t know Linguistics came with accessory lessons, did you?

One of the saddest days in my life was when I lost one of my most beautiful scarves in the lockers at the Dr. Pepper Star Center ice-skating rink when we lived in Dallas. We had taken my daughter there and were skating there one day and I had left my scarf in one of the lockers. It was a beautiful grey scarf with a black fringe, soft wool, that my aunt had got for me from Switzerland. I went back to the locker to get my things and found the scarf gone. I was devastated. I looked everywhere. I could not find it. Soon afterwards, we moved to Pennsylvania. For quite sometime after I moved to PA, I used to ask our friends in Dallas to go to the skating rink and look for my scarf and UPS it to me. They thought I was insane. But it was just a beautiful scarf and it meant so much to me since it was from my aunt. I almost always lose gifts that mean a lot to me. I think it is the universe correcting me from my attachment to things–my aunt’s gift scarf, my beautiful Fossil watch, Nic’s gift watch. I lose gifts all the time. Sometimes I get them back, like Nic’s watch. Now I don’t mind losing things at all. I don’t think I will ever regret losing anything at all. I don’t think I will miss my scarves at all. Just pretty pieces of cloth.

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