There is a language spoken within a family that no one outside speaks. It may sound familiar but listen carefully and learn otherwise. It is so with my brother even though there are thick walls between us and yet, in a few words intentions are obvious. He keeps me far from a place I’d just as soon not go and in her panic my mother hears only our words and not their hidden meaning. It is when we fall silent the conversation begins.
The abiding Buddha nature of birds is demonstrated by their calm ability to carry on conversations in the presence of interacting humans, who are too often deaf to the sounds in which nature immerses them.
But when we speak to the birds in a crude facsimile of their native chirp, caw and trill, they pause to listen, strain to understand us, wishing only to let us know their thoughts, their love of nature, and just how shocked and disappointed they are at our inability to exercise our stewardship.
They speak of me, never to me, with terms like breakage, as though life, mine at least, is a glass bottle on a shelf with so many others, and a certain percentage are pre- assumed to break and be discarded and no one will bat an eyelash.
To them I am nameless, one of many, stock in trade, with no provenance, or at least none they would grant me, and they question my origins, as though I may not be worthy enough to even be considered as future breakage.
I want to remind them that they invited me here, invited so many others, that we are here because it was one place we were going to be allowed, but they have grown deaf, and blind, and I must wait until they, too, soon, are swept from the shelf and placed in clearance, then discarded.
Ever since I was a child I spoke a language known only to me. I’ve had great conversations on all matters and weighty topics. I don’t speak this language in public, for people are increasingly scared of things they assume to be foreign and truth shown to them is no defense. That, and I’m certain some would think me crazy, like the one man who overheard me and said as much to his imaginary friend. And that’s the key difference: everyone knows imaginary friends can’t answer you, you’d be nuts to think otherwise, but to speak a language known only to yourself and to speak it fluently, is a linguistic feat not to be trifled with.
Only in a French movie does a girl stand on a bridge threatening to jump or not and weave a story that so draws us in that by the end, when the couple is together, she now pulling him from the same brink we almost forget that the movie was in a language neither of us speak.
As a young child I recall my mother justifying all manner of disasters based on miscommunication, mostly hers, by saying, “Does Macy’s talk to Bloomingdale’s?”
I didn’t care, no one did and the excuse never worked as far as I can tell, and I now know from experience, that of course they talked to each other, and today they are owned by the same corporate overseer.
So why is it that I spent the better part of my day trying to get my old iPhone to speak nicely to my new Samsung phone?
I wasn’t asking much, just to share contacts and photos, but they weren’t having it, no how, now way, not never, so I was left to turn to a mediator, and it pained me to call in Microsoft, but they did have a window on a solution, so they thanks to their outlook got to have the last word.