What is Language?

   birds, 2-sm

A phone call with a friend yesterday led to our thinking what it would be like to lose one’s ability to speak or process words—in other words, to lose one’s language.  She reminded me that art is a language. Like the person who continues to eloquently play piano when his memory is otherwise fading, or the artist who expresses her feelings with drawings when she can’t find the words, I hope one would find an alternate language.

The poem “Conversing” could refer to anything the reader imagines.  It was originally written in response to my experience of finding a way to connect with very few words of shared language.

It’s partly in how we hear the other. . .
which reminds me of a saying:

The Mind is for seeing, the heart is for hearing.  –Arabic proverb



2 thoughts on “What is Language?

  1. Love the Arabic proverb…

    Taking it a step further: I feel that the heart is only able to TRULY hear if it has had a like experience… if it’s BEEN there…SURVIVED that.

    Then, it is able to SHARE the strength that has resulted.


    • Hi Bette! It’s always good to find your comments and how you further the conversation and add questions. Your note got me wondering if we necessarily need a like experience. For example, we hear our pets and they hear us in some way beyond words and shared experience. Just a thought. It’s also a wonder how young children can be so empathic beyond their years and experience.

      It would be fun to sit and chat at a table with you sometime.

      Later: and now I’m looking again at the proverb and wondering. I appreciate it . . . yet, think about it. The mind is for seeing . . . yes . . . but those eye-mind impressions go further, reaching the heart which can then tune its hearing in a way beyond mere seeing and hearing.



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