Marysia wanted me to pronounce her name correctly.
-MarIsha, I said.
-No! A soft sh, not a hard sh. Not sh, but sh!
However often she said it, I could not hear or replicate the difference. I asked her to explain how her teeth and tongue were when she made the sound, but she did not.
I still wanted to get it right, so I asked S. It’s not sh as in shoe, but sh as in shushing someone, she explained. The women at the next table, who had been speaking English with I think a Polish accent, stopped and stared at me as I practised. I can now make two sounds which sound quite different to me, my old one with the tongue in the bottom of the mouth, and a new one with it pressed against the palate, just behind the teeth, which is easier if I smile as I sh; I hope that is right. It means I never said my aunt’s name correctly.
My German friend had difficulty with the particularly difficult th sound. She normally got it right, but in the middle of words when distracted she might say somesing, then kick herself. But she had been living in England for years.
I want to fit in. I want not to be noticed. I want never to offend anyone for any reason. All my anger and resentment- and I have quite a lot around my current circumstances- is aimed inside, at myself. I should be responding better, coping, bettering my situation. The white heat of my rage blinds me, so that I cannot differentiate what might be easy to change or not, or what is very Wrong in me from what might be acceptable. So, paradoxically, I am forgiving and tolerant of myself while deeply uncomfortable with that. In my own eyes I am always wrong and that stops me improving- or noticing if I do.
I touched her heart- a story for the diary rather than the blog. She wants to let go and be and escape words, and when we almost did she pulled back, and reasserted control. It distressed her. I want to escape words, to stop making sense, for words classifying things- sodomite, invert, gay, bear- don’t get the reality of a situation. It is Zeno’s paradox. It is the Quaker admonition “Thee should not have been thinking”. Perceiving and acting, rather than explaining to myself and planning- flying not plodding-
In tennis, one might work out the right return, but unless you simply do it spontaneously you have missed the time for it.
In meeting I might escape words. That might make it gathered. I might escape this dissatisfaction-