Time For Now


I am learning a new language.  I’ve learned languages before, but this time it is something different.  This time I’m learning a language so that my partner and I can turn tiny, mundane tidbits into secrets; little presents that we withhold from the rest of the world, saving for one another.  I’ve spoken this language before, but it’s tucked deeply away into the recesses of my mind, my past, my unconsciousness.

The language that I’m learning is a language of history.  When I first learned it, it made me think of vast, ancient columns, massive bridges, aqueducts, and temples.  I thought of powers and empires that now exist only in our cultural memory.  I also thought about my own history.  I thought of my family, speaking this language, living this history.  I thought of my own history, my own language.  I thought of a personal history of doubt, in myself and in my partners.  I thought of nights spent quietly awake, watching my partners sleep, thinking about our future.

But there is something different about learning this language, this time, with this partner.  You see, I practice every day, pointing to items around me and carefully easing my mouth around the syllables.  I say to my partner, “We are eating breakfast.  We are reading books.  We are at the table.”  This time, I’m doing something different.  This time, I haven’t learned the linguistic tricks that would allow me to speak about the past, or to fret about the future.  This time, with this language, I find that all I need is now.

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