v u l v a l i c i o u s
Language and knowledge, at odds or not
Last night, there was much laughter in our warm little home.
She started asking me questions about God and I couldn't help but answer. Years of Catholic training spilled out on the floor between us. I am anxious over moments like those where I bare my religion to unsuspecting eyes.
Language rose up and saved us. Greek and Hebrew. Childhood knowledge resurfacing.
When I was an adolescent, I tried to teach myself Greek. I was satisfied with the alphabet, and would write with it--words in English spelled in Greek. This, to me, was all I needed. It was a secret code in which I reveled. I remember sitting in a crowd of people and spelling out my thoughts in Greek letters. That was the summer I called myself by many names, the year in which I assumed I must have a thousand personalities and took to describing each one in detail.
When she was small, she learned Hebrew. She could not speak it very well, she said, but she had been able to write it. The look in her eyes was intensely curious as she began trying to scrawl out our names in her own foreign tongue. She couldn't believe that she had remembered how to write these letters. I wanted her to be able to speak them into words; I wanted to hear something that my mind could not comprehend. I wanted to feel the comfort of not knowing.
But we joke more now, and laugh. There is a certain ease which has arisen that I appreciate greatly. This is the feeling of knowing. And that I like as well.