The best kind of gift

Pretty sure I have mentioned how excruciatingly painful it is to exist in a country where you don’t understand the language – especially if you’re a hopeless people person. I tend to get repetitive on this blog, but to sum up for those who are joining my rants for the first time: not being able to talk to people is the worst thing ever. And not just because it cuts you off from everyone at a really basic level, but because one of my only strengths is being able to communicate really well (with as much self-deprecation as happens on this blog, I think I’m allowed a pat on the back) and now I’m stripped of it. So having this imaginary zipper over my lips makes me feel a bit like a fish … my mouth keeps opening hopefully but nothing comes out. Kind of like my first debate round.

Conversation takes effort to begin with. Now try it without knowing the language. It’s hard. For everyone.

While helping Marilyn in the kitchen earlier this autumn (and I use the word “helping” very loosely, because no matter how much I do, she is always a thousand times more productive than I am), I confided in her some of my frustrations. I don’t know what I was expecting her to say as I watched her from the sink of soppy water my elbows were resting in. (She basically stops the rhythm of space and time when she’s working, conducting the cosmos in her own magnificent orchestra of productivity. I mostly just watch. I’m sort of like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice except … No, I’m exactly like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice).

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