Entre Chien et Loup
I learned a new phrase today. I learned several variants: “L’heure entre chien et loup” is my favorite.
A literal translation would be: “the hour between dog and wolf.” The common French usage? It’s a reference to those ambiguous hours we English call dawn, dusk or twilight. What I love about this term, this phrase, is that it carries within it so many layers of meaning.
Ya just gotta love fours words strung together that can send you on a crazy mind-bender.
The French linguist would explain that the term refers to a specific time of day, when the light is such that one can’t distinguish between a dog or wolf. A Scot may refer to this as the “darking” hour or “the gloaming.” It doesn’t surprise me at all that folks who tend to flocks in fog-shrouded valleys and moors would have a certain reverence for the ambiguous light that complicates the matter of distinguishing friend from foe - the dog from the wolf.
It’s the ambiguity that intrigues.
In that hour between dog and wolf, we can’t know if we’re safe or threatened. We can't be sure if our eyes deceive, if we truly know what we think we know. We’re caught somewhere between comfort (ignorant bliss?) and fear. It’s good, of course, to be able to distinguish between the two, but...I’ve never mastered that.
I seem to be perpetually lost in “L’heure entre chien et loup.”
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