Friday, October 31, 2014
Sometimes, there is nothing better than coffee & conversation with good friends. There is nothing better than doing life together, than sharing honestly what you're feeling and hearing those two beautiful words in return: me too. I understand. It's ok.
Or, perhaps better said: ich auch. Ich verstehe. Es ist ok.
Because somehow these moments & conversations happen in German. I myself am mostly still shocked about this. When we first moved here, my one greatest fear was that it would take me years to ever make real friends. That I would never be able to go deeper than my every-day-text-book-recite-by-heart German. There's only so many times you can ask someone their favorite colour after all...
It's a scary thing (as a writer & youth worker) to be suddenly surrounded by people you cannot communicate with. I often say that for me, one of the hardest things about moving to Germany was that I felt I had a new personality. Everything I knew how to do, everything I was gifted at, involved words. Listening to them, writing them, creating a safe space for others to speak them and sometimes even getting up there and speaking them myself. It was an almost cruel twist of fate that took that away from me so quickly.
And so, I did the only thing I knew how to do at the time- I abandoned my own words- my margin-scrawled poems & heartfelt conversations...these things that betrayed me in my new home, and picked up my language textbooks (and knitting needles!), my brain swimming with foreign sounds that hid the new words I was trying so hard to learn.
But somewhere along the road things got a little better. I started this blog. I made some very patient friends. And slowly, slowly the words came back. I started writing again. I met with people who became my dear friends, first in coffee shops for awkward conversations where I stumbled over my words and then slowly (oh so slowly) got a little better...
and I think what's so beautiful for me about those times- when the coffee is gone and we talk on (and on...) is that I've been given a gift I never thought I would receive. I can more than get by in this language. Sure, I can make myself understood but I can also communicate with complete honesty what is in my heart. And I can understand what is uttered in return.
And somehow in those moments the words ich auch are even more beautiful than me too. Because I know the journey I had to take to make it here, I know what it took to be able to understand them.
Still. I wouldn't hold your breath for a post in German here any time soon. I still haven't cracked the code that is writing with correct German grammar...