Thursday, October 20, 2016

Language

I’m not sure that it is true but I have heard that in some cultures there is a traditional belief that babies know all things. That at birth we are privy to a total awareness of the universe, and that it is only in our development of language that we give away our omniscience. In learning to talk, and as such learning to talk to another person and develop relationships we relinquish this great power. Whether this is actually a held belief by anybody or not it is a beautiful idea. No matter what, the power of speech is something hard fought for. My daughter who is learning a new word or so every day has gone from a sweet little child to a monster, in her frustrating struggle to master the English tongue. But in that gaining of speech she has gained the ability to talk with those around her and to allow those bonds between her and others to grow. Relationships are often weak and flimsy things and yet we risk so much, and give up so much, and push ourselves so hard to form that connection to the other. When we meet our patients often the battle for speech is already lost, the words turned to ash in the mouth before they can be spoke. Yet the bonds formed are still alive. We see it in the child knowing their mother’s needs before she asks. In the husband responding to his wives slightest gesture of pain, in the wife knowing what her husband’s goals without him saying a word. We see the bonds of relationships strained to their furthest and yet strengthened by this test. May we always be aware of the blessing in seeing another’s care, and may we always do all we can to hold the dying up, even if we do so without a word.

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