I love words, especially learning new words.
I wrote last time about my recent foray into Tumblr, where I have found a blog that posts words every day (and pictures to go along with them). Last week, I found a new word that I have fallen in love with: Sehnsucht.
This word is German, and after some poking around, I found it is pronounced as "sane-zookt", at least according to C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors. He described it as "inconsolable longing", and one of his passages from The Pilgrim's Regress speaks about it nicely...
Lately, or more than likely always, I have had a bad bout with this feeling, which until I read the word I couldn't really describe. The "inconsolable longing" is a deep emotion that really doesn't translate well into English, though I think Lewis did a great job of defining it. I won't say what my Sehnsucht is for, as that seems too personal, but I can say that I understand this word, and that it is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
It's an amazing thing to have a word that defines you, or a stage in your life. In my experience with Sehnsucht, the definition and the word couldn't have come at a better time. Not only do I personally understand this word, but the characters in the project I have recently started understand it; it defines them. Finding Sehnsucht has helped me better understand my characters, and what drives them.
Have you ever felt Sehnsucht towards something, or in general, unable to define what it is that is inconsolably longed for (that is, apparently, the norm for this word)?