The word disparate derives from disparatus, the past participle of the Latin verb disparare, meaning “to separate.” Disparare, in turn, comes from parare, a verb meaning “to prepare.” Other descendants of parare in English include both separate and prepare, as well as repair, apparatus, and even vituperate (“to criticize harshly and usually publicly”). Disparate also functions as a noun. The noun, which is rare and usually used in the plural, means “one of two or more things so unequal or unlike that they cannot be compared with each other.”
I met my Syrian friend when she was still overseas. Her family had escaped Syria, and were then living in Jordan. She used the word disparate in attempting to describe her family’s situation to me. I knew that she meant desperate, but in her mispronunciation I felt that she unintentionally gave her story an added layer of meaning.
I painted a few works in her honour, and this is one.
Oil on 5” x 7” card.