Oh, there are those days when you have no ideas where you are in the world when you travel like this. And it’s not just where you are, it’s what language (if any) you’re speaking. For me, my fluency in Swedish rises and falls as I’m here. Sometimes I can’t get the 10,000 (ok an extra 3) vowels right. All just slightly off American pronunciations and use the wrong one, not only does the word change meaning, you can look a little cray-cray. “huh?”
Some days I have no language at all, not a word to be found in either Swedish or English and don’t even think about French. And other days the language is all mixed up — an odd mixture of swinglish roots, prefixes and suffixes, nouns and verbs and adjectives… oh the adjectives are almost always in the wrong language.
Luckily, my friends, one American Swede and one Swede, are pretty good this… they’ve both had the same experience. And of course, Swedes, even those not American born, speak English fluently. Many Swedes want to speak English and get some practice in — never mind that they get to watch English and American TV. (And let’s not even mention the 6 year old with a Swedish mother and English dad attending school in Copenhagen and speaking all three languages fluently!) So I bump along. Sometimes I feel like someone’s very cute pet goat: look what I can do: Speak, Ann! (give me more cake, please! Let’s go swimming!)
But it is exactly in that laughing stew that the willingness to understand and be understood exists. It is in that hunger for friendship and acceptance of differences that Peace is born. We’ve all loved one another a long time. I’d like to think others of us could learn to Love in that same stew. Come on in, the Peace Stew’s here for everyone… Waking up to the need. Developing the hunger. Stepping up to the challenge… doing the Work. Peace.