Who is wrong?

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-

Signac femmes au puits

6 thoughts on “Who is wrong?

  1. “In tennis, one might work out the right return, but unless you simply do it spontaneously you have missed the time for it.” Yes! “Coping” with “transparent ready-to-hand equipment.” It’s what we are “about” (in both senses of the term) most of the time in our existence. No more H. from me for the time being. I promise. It’s just a residue from your last post.

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    • I am seeing H next month, I hope, and going to the new Tate Modern building. You are welcome to mention H: I am anti-Cartesian, insofar as I understand it, which I feel comes from my personality and way of being- Cartesians are those who are persuaded by his rational argument, “being-in-the-world” has to resonate. I am aware of the problem of considering a work of art in isolation from the views, or even acts, of the artist and am inconsistent and uncomfortable around it.

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      • Suppose that you were an existent musical note, an A-sharp major. You look at yourself in the mirror and see a black symbol, and imagine that there must be something invisible inside of you (self, soul, psyche, whatever) that makes you what you are essentially. I come along and say: “No, Clare, in your existence (your ‘becoming’) you are essentially music, and at the end of your life you will have created a great symphony.” You must hear the music, Clare!

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  2. Marysia is hard for non-Slavs. But the effort is what counts.

    You are such a lovely neurotic, Clare — and I say this with appreciation for the wonderfulness of neurotics.

    There is time for saying and time for doing, and sometimes we want to argue with that. When in doubt, do nothing. It is OK, too.

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