She sat, and then she ate: A continuation of thought from August 10th
I wonder when it happens, when they first understand a word or a phrase. I wonder if it's a sparkling sensation, like Helen Keller with her hand under that cold flow of water. I'm stuck on Arabic because I love that thrill, the sudden click of understanding. Sound dividing into recognizable words, syntax and grammar falling into place, making new places in the mind that didn't exist before. There are languages where an entire sentence is formed by adding prefixes and suffixes to a single root word; there's another where no nouns exist, only verbs. And the brain can hold it, can flex and bend and process it, can attach itself to patterns so seamlessly that it doesn't even bother to remember the moment. (And moreso, can reformat itself to fit new languages that don't come close to having a one-to-one translation.) I speak to my girl in Spanish and some English and broken Arabic and it's probably terribly unfair to make her little ears take in so much at once, but I can't help it. We marvel at it together, the moments when I say "Come hold my hand" or "Traeme un libro" or "Btebi tishrabi haleeb?" and she responds and we both realize it's a wonder. We marvel, we marvel at something marvelous; which speaking of words, is a word in my mouth that feels like spongey, fluffy candy from Wonka's factory. Delicious and so rich. Worth running with little bare feet to the table for.