High hopes, or: Cautionary tales

A limerick

Emigrating from the land of your birth;
moving somewhere far across the earth;
if you don't master the tongue
or move when you're quite young,
you're likely to struggle with self-worth.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

37 thoughts on “High hopes, or: Cautionary tales”

  1. Yes! So very true. Well, after 12 years in the Netherlands, I’m finally comfortable enough with the language to feel really integrated into society, culture, and my community, and Dutch is no easy language that’s for sure! Of course this was made more challenging once again with the loss of my husband last June. Forced me to learn a whole new aspect of the Dutch world. I’m still learning. However, I’m grateful that I have friends and a good social support network to hold me up. Chag sameach to you new friend! 💗

      1. There were many things (some a bit complicated) that my late husband handled for us. Usually things that required a real grasp of the language and all of its nuances. (I’m still not there yet.) With him now being gone, I have to muddle through and learn these things.
        Taxes are a great example. He always filed our taxes and I had always given him a “machtiging” (my permission) to interact with the government on my behalf. This year, I have to do it on my own.
        Fortunately it’s not as complicated or complex as US taxes, and even better most of your information is “prefilled” in on the website. You merely need to confirm the accuracy. (Just about everything that involves interacting with the government is handled online which simplifies so much. Plus helps the environment because there’s much less paper used)
        Unfortunately, before he passed (we knew the exact time that he would leave us), we forgot to think about him giving me a “machtiging”. So here I am trying to file our taxes before the May 1st deadline, and I find that I’m stuck. 😥 I’m grateful that I have a fabulous social worker that has been working with me through this whole transition, and she set up an appointment for to get some help. It just means delays, but that’s ok. It all gets done in the end.
        Got a bit long winded there, but I hope that explains “a whole new aspect of the Dutch world”. LOL It’s having to learn all these things that I greatly appreciate him having done on our behalf. Which in and of itself was a new experience for me. I’ve always been quite independent, self sufficient, and self reliant. Like I said, lots of new things to learn! 😀

  2. Very good, David! Your limerick tells a true tale. I saw this many times in students who were new to America and spoke English as a second language, if they spoke it all.

  3. thanks for writing this David. I am not sure I recognise Limerick but that may be due to my slight weakness as a non-native; but it’s an important piece of your story. And it reminded me of a story a Psych patient told me. I shall write about that in the next few days. Title: Emigrant’s child.

    1. well done, Richard – and that’s an interesting story, actually… although I think that actually integrating into a foreign society and getting a decent job there usually requires an ability to use the local language – you had the advantage of not needing to integrate because you were with the Navy.

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