Blog 100: Mahmilapinatapei

April 19, 2017

[noun] 1. A gaze shared by two people, each wishing that the other would initiate something that they both desire but which neither wants to begin. (Guinness Book of Records 1994)
2. That look across the table when two people are sharing an unspoken but private moment and each knows the other understands and is in agreement with what is being expressed.
3. An expressive and meaningful silence. (

Originates from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina

I remember finding this word in a Reader’s Digest article probably eight or nine years ago and I haven’t forgotten it since because a) it’s so darn long and b) how many words have such a unique, singular meaning? I’ve thought and thought on its definition and discovered it in the quietest of places, the least expected.

Every time it materialized in my life, it was always directly in front of me, blatantly obvious, undoubtedly apparent, and so distinctly there that I could’ve been struck blind and still discovered it, guiding me to, I later realized, what I want most in my life.

I had it once before. It gave me a fluttery feeling that lifted me off the ground, easing every tension and trial from my conscience, forgetting everything else. When I think about it every now and again, I feel like dancing, shouting, wishing I could be there, firsthand, once again.


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