There are things between Heaven and Earth (which is to say between French and English) that are untranslatable. Phrases that gain their meaning not only by their words but also by the context in which we usually hear them being said. The charming language mix of the Hill knows many of these examples: if things take really long, they take pour les siècles des siècles. If you are really sure about something you start your sentence of wisdom with en vérité, en vérité je vous le dis. If you really want something, you say three little words: je le veux (I want it/that). Most of these phrases disappeared from my language over the years, except for the three little words. They are not be said often but to be contemplated a lot.
Once in a while, life calls for decisions. Decisions about taking an action or not, about starting things, about ending them, about choosing life itself. There are a lot of things I might want, but when I start asking myself Veux-tu…? I cannot always come up with a je le veux.
Je le veux is an expression not to be uttered on a whim. In fact, it is meant to be said once in a lifetime. It is a commitment. Kind of like the yes in a marriage ceremony – but it still seems even more momentous because it is more extraordinary. It is the final moment of a perpetual vow.
Usually, we don’t take vows in daily life and I might never take any in my whole life – who knows. But when I am to take a decision, when I whine about things I want but I don’t have, I do come across those words, over and over again. Saying je le veux is not only about something you want but also about all the things you are willing to give up for it.
There is not always an answer to the Veux-tu…? and luckily, there doesn’t have to be. I think it is an important part of life to do things about which you are not sure how much you are willing to compromise. Usually, you will find out eventually. And some things you have to do when you have the courage to do them, even without feeling any je le veux – as long you answer the question of Que demandes-tu? with La vie.
Je le veux.