Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Which I Receive the Ultimate Compliment

In late 2008, when I began this blog, I wrote mainly for family and friends. I thought blogging was a great way to keep people updated, as well as provide a way to encourage communication. I wanted the title to be catchy and to mean something. I chose the name Foreign Quang because it was a phrase I used around the house to describe life’s indescribable moments—little, seemingly insignificant moments that everyone has, that later turn out to be some of our most cherished memories.

A quote was needed—a quote that would sum up my intent in a few words so I could use it as a header on my blog. I went to many different quote websites, and finally found a quote that was perfect for the feeling I wished to convey here at the Quang. It’s the one you see front and center when you log on to Foreign Quang.  The site also had a few other quotes by Robert Brault, but this one caught my heart.

Not long after, I received a message from none other than Robert Brault, thanking me for choosing his quote for my site. I was thrilled! Not having done any in-depth research into the man behind the quote, I assumed Robert Brault was some 16th century philosopher, some Thomas a Kempis spouting universal truths for us to ponder.

Not so.

Robert Brault is a 21st century philosopher spouting universal truths for us to ponder. And laugh at. And rejoice over. And say about, “I’ve always felt that way, but I never knew I felt that way until Robert Brault said it, and now I know it was a locked-up part of me to which he held the key.”

One of Robert’s unique talents is his ability to encapsulate in a few words, an evanescent feeling that is misting around in our brains and our hearts, searching for release. The feeling remains a prisoner until he speaks through his keyboard, and we shout, “Yes!”

I envy his talent.  Many times I have pored over the quotes on his website, trying to find a formula for his success, wondering why I look at most of his quotes and feel an immediate recognition as to their truthfulness, yet am unable to express those same thoughts myself in such an eloquent way. 

Robert has tried to retire from his blog many times, but luckily for us he is a sympathetic man who caves in to the incessant whining from his fans. We don’t let him rest. You will always find a link to his website on my sidebar.

So. The Compliment.

When I got back from Seattle, I posted many pictures of our trip. One of Computer Geek’s favorites was this one:
The ocean--it simultaneously calms and invigorates

After he viewed it on my blog, I looked over at him to see tears on his cheeks. Computer Geek isn’t a man who cries often. He’s much too logical for that. The photo and caption though, had him choked up. “I’ve never heard anyone describe the ocean that way. That’s exactly why I love the ocean so much, I just never thought about it in that way.”

Later as we discussed his emotion over the photo, he said, “You Braultized it.”

Because we both admire Robert, Computer Geek’s statement meant a lot to both of us, more especially me.  I felt a moment of satisfaction, not unlike when you are in geometry class and you finally solve a difficult problem.

So, Mr. Brault. You’ve achieved literary immortality by becoming a verb. To be accused of Braultizing is an honor indeed.

 "Perhaps we misjudge other people's loneliness 
because we're so seldom with them when they're alone."
~~Robert Brault~~


  1. Randi,
    Correctness would have me say that I am humbled my your kind words, but I am definitely not. I am buoyed by them. Thank you so much. I might only wish that the name "Brault" were more adaptable to the verb form.


  2. Actually, I was referring to Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean", from Houses of the Holy, 1973. More invigorating than calming, as with most Zeppelin.

    OK, I'm wife nailed per usual...

  3. Compliments deserved.

  4. Robert: You are so welcome. And the name Brault is perfect for verbization because it ends with a "t." Patiently waiting for that book to come out. :)

    Winston: You must have an amazing wife.

    Auntie M: Thank you. It's an honor to even be in the same internet world as Robert.

    spetembermom: Thank you, Kel!


You won't be paid for it, but at least you'll know that you have contributed intelligence to the universe...

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