I can’t hear it anymore… The words. I used to love the words. Being a person who loves the English language, I would lap them up one by one, let them swirl around my head, absorb into my brain and keep them there. Words of wisdom, words of love, words of worth… But I have heard so many of the same words, the same bullshit words, that they have become meaningless to me. The words of worth are now few and far between and the words of love have become worthless.
When did my heart produce the bounce back button? Is this something that happens to you with age? Or is this a sign of damaged goods?
I spent the weekend with my family in Ra’anana, and had the pleasure of my nieces and nephews being around too. It was such a joy to spend quality time with them. To watch them play together, fight together, find joy in life and scream their heads off when they were told they couldn’t have desert because they hit their brother. It was interesting to note that the Rabbi in Shul on Friday night (yes my dad almost died of shock that I was in Shul too!) brought up the topic of joy. He said “if you want to see joy in its purest form just head to your local Gan (nursery).” I didn’t have to go very far. There in my parents’ house was the Gan of the age 0 to 7, and on Shabbat afternoon I lay on the mattress fortress they had spent all afternoon making and destroying and read Mr. Men books and watched the joy on the faces when I promised to read another, when I let them play with my hair, when I smiled at them, and when their mum woke from her afternoon nap to feed them.
In my journey to find and unleash Channahboo I have been trying to look at my life through the eyes of a child and find the joy again. It has been successful to a large extent. I have found happiness in so many things; in the little things, in the big things, in my blood family and the family I have chosen for myself. The only area that dissatisfies me is the adult world, the world of words, a world without smiles and laughter, without holding hands and swinging in the air. We constantly have to explain ourselves, or at least we feel we do. No-one wants to be ‘the bad guy’ so we use words to explain away the bad actions. We lie to ourselves and to each other in order to appear to be the good one, the right one, the nice and kind one. Not the one who plays with other people’s emotions, not the one who takes advantage of our friends’ or loved ones’ kindness, not the one to use the other and not the one who calls an end to it, because that would make us ‘the bad guy’.
My two year old nephew, Noam, is just at the beginning of grasping the English language while simultaneously trying to grasp the Hebrew language. However, in doing this he uses more than words to express himself. I noticed that while the other children gabbled words out of their mouths trying to develop their vocabulary and learning to express their emotions with words, Noam’s face was more animated than the others. It was his primary way of communicating his emotions. His smiles seemed twice as big, and when I gave each of them a kiss goodbye his kisses were twice as loud as the others. Without words I knew that he was happy listening to my story, I knew that he was sensitive to me telling him to get off the bike, and without words I knew that he understood through my kisses that I was only afraid of him falling off and proceeded to get back on with a big grin on his face when I had moved it off the ledge and to a safer position.
So despite my love of words, despite my own urge to take words and make them beautiful, I have lost trust in these words… the words I hear.
“You are the best!”
The best what?
“You have no idea how much you mean to me”
Well actually I have no idea!
“We love each other”
I never said I love you… do you really love me?
“I can see myself falling in love with you”
But not now.
“You are truly amazing”
But not amazing enough.
“I still think about you”
I have heard it so many times before. And then there are the words of others. They are the words that I hear in my head coming out of the mouths of friends, and the words about you which have already been said about them. So while I am sat between the two, listening to both sides of the same story that all sound so familiar, who do I believe? Who has the ulterior motive? Who is trying to protect me? Who is out to dupe me? It is so confusing and so hurtful to me to think that I could have got it all so wrong, that I could have been so trusting and so stupid. I have been the player, I know the score… but I was told to be honest, to only say the words I meant. So while every body’s talking at me I am not going to hear a word they are saying, because I need more than words to show me how you feel. Or maybe the lack of, is actually worth a thousand words of worth.