Continuing with my train of thought about language and exploring a forum I saw on C-Span that had an outspoken blogger on it I found blogalization. Very cool.
I sat down at that fire the first time and looked around and heard only sounds that had no meaning to me, knowing that I was in another country too far to just 'go home', my heart beat double, my eyes dried, and the swarming minutae of a million 'what if's' halo'd my mind. Fear for a little while. Surreal, a painting , a passage in someone elses journal from long ago. Not me. I would blink and suddenly be back amongst familiar faces. Fires cast quiet shadows and bring warmth. Fires promote comradery. I had been invited in the first place. I sat, observed, listened. I played my didge. Then, after a few rousing songs that I tried to hum along with,shared wine, laughter because I blurted out 'blah, blah', they presented a plateful of mushrooms from the forest. I have come to believe in the old adage , God watches over children and fools, I can be both. As dawn came to pass, I had made new friends and we had an understanding. I would come to trust them for the next year through both joys and tribulations. Once, a friend asked me in broken english if it was true that in America if you bump into someone in the street and do not apologize that they might shoot you or come and burn your house down. No. ..and I wondered to myself 'or is it? would they?..maybe. To think that I had fear when I had first met them. Overwhelmed I felt. Overwhelmed by the tatoo on my forehead that identified me as part of a sytem that I didn't even agree with, a culture that I myself was alienated from. At once, a stranger again. It looks different from that place. That great society over there, the one contained in the bubble oblivious to the rest of the world. My simple answer of 'no' made him feel better about the country I came from, and I believe, about me as well. I don't know how long he had believed that. Truth is, I didn't want my language anymore. If I could have cast it off beside the road I would have. Too many strings attached, too much extra weight. We continued on down the path, and ultimately, I kept walking, away and back to the bubble. All of the familiar faces have changed. They don't really know me anymore, yet I feel as if I see them clearly.
I suppose I would recommend this route of discovery to the people I know here. I'd encourage them to wander off for awhile and mingle. It's not easy but the experience is one that changed my whole view of life. Hardly an ephiphany or melodramatic metamorphosis, more like a slow shifting of the direction of the wind.