Tuesday, March 25, 2008

waking to a new song

In the movie, “Dan in Real Life,” Julliette Binoche’s character describes her perfect day as “waking up in a foreign country, not really knowing the language, ready for adventure, so amazing.”

I ran across those words this morning as I took a quick peek into my Paris journal. As I have mentioned here before, I have been dreaming in French since I returned from my trip. One of the outstanding lines is “Je ne parle pas Francais”…I don’t speak French. Many wonderful comments were left about the wildness there is in not understanding language and I plan to continue to ponder, collage and sort through what that means for me. Today, however, I was delighted to read my own words written shortly after I returned to Seattle.

listening to the patter of language around me…not having to partake or be responsible for what was going on…just listening...like music—listening to a song I could not understand, but still loving the melody and the message…a lullaby…a love song…written just for me…this past week was my love song to myself…a beautiful gift that only I could give.

When you do not understand the language around you, where do your thoughts go? Do you fight it and retreat? Or do you choose to hear it as a new song around you? Maybe it is a beautiful love song or possibly it is a fight song you would rather tune out. What is the language you hear today—wherever you are?

Peace.

"glory" photo from musee d'orsay

5 comments:

Kate I said...

I love this about being in a country where I don't understand the language...the voice becomes an instrument of song...some harsh and jarring and some soft and lilting. I don't have to engage but just listen to the cadence and tones...and so much easier to tune out if I choose!

Right now I'm sitting listening to the birds outside my window chatting in their chirping birdsong...just another language really.

lucy said...

kate i--i love how you think :-) thanks for stopping by to comment and share your special language!

SUNRISE SISTER said...

I don't know that I've participated in foreign language as song. Usually it makes me search for something I find familiar - it always piques my interest in wanting to learn in order to participate. I guess being an onlooker of language is not something I've thought about doing before - even though I lived HK for 3 years, even there, I wanted to know what was being said around me - oh yeah, I forgot - everyone spoke English there! Only kidding:)

Barbara said...

I have lived in a couple of countries where I was not fluent in the language -- Germany, Japan and Quebec. I found it very restful to tune out the idle conversations of those around me. I need not get distracted by voices overheard, opinions that may bother me. It is a bit like background music, as you say.

Country Parson said...

My experiences in Israel and China struck me with some force; "So this is what is like to be illiterate, and to be known to others as being illiterate!