The Zig Zag of a Bug
In the past couple of months I’ve been thinking, constantly, in the French expression Savoir Faire.
It strikes me, suddenly, like a bug in my head. I try to avoid it but it always comes back.
Sometimes it happens while I wander around in my studio but, also, in the middle of a conversation.
Like a two-headed, miniature flying ghost.
I repeat to myself: to know, to make. Knowledge, making.
This expression has different meanings. It can mean a proper behavior. It can mean a mayor experience in any discipline, craft or endeavor. Or it can simply mean the capacity to do something and to do it well. Usually, it involves time, commitment and expertise. For example, France is broadly known because of their great wines, breads and cheeses. They have a great Savoir Faire in this field. I am talking about centuries and centuries mastering how to cultivate, maturate, store, squeeze, transport, blend, distill, dry, liquefy and strain the liquid out of a thousand grapes. And the same applies to sourdough and smelly milk.
In English, Savoir Faire is translated to the catchy term Know how, that seems to mean the same although it is very different. In the United States this expression can describe a practical skill or it can be used alongside with entrepreneur ideas, branding and start-ups endeavors. The Know how is like the trick or the secret behind a company or a person success. It doesn’t involve the hands, the smell or any mystical sense. It doesn’t travel in time, from generation to generation, through oral tales. It’s more like a good slogan or a clear signature.
And in Colombia, in Spanish, do we have a similar expression?
El que sabe, sabe
El teje maneje
Saber cómo es el maní
The one who knows, knows
The knitting and the handling
To know how a peanut is.
Am I a son of this cultural puzzles?
Then I come back. Sometimes to a painting. Sometimes to a conversation. Espanto el zancudo. But I know it will come back.