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Or is it language and soul?

I read an article just now by a woman who moved to Portugal and learned the language. She is a writer and a journalist. Because of a global financial downturn, she had to leave and ended up in a long depression. A big part of her depression came from her inability to express parts of herself she could only access through Portuguese.

This is the way I experience French. I lived inside the French language for over thirty years, and when I was obliged to return to the States, I was disoriented and lost. I felt less myself and less functional than the person I know I can be. I miss that person because he’s more alive.

It comes down to the chemistry between a language and a your truest self, probably, but I wonder. There is a distinct place in me that makes its home in language even more than I do in a place. I realize that not everybody feels this way. Not everyone feels language, especially foreign languages, as a favored state of mind, something to be sought out.

I feel deprived when I can’t hear and practice a foreign language. Just the tone and rhythm of a language can suggest an energy or spirit that doesn’t exist in my native language. My psyche recognizes those energies as perhaps more native to me than the energies I grew up with, less limiting, more lively.

The music of a language is the most attractive thing about it, to me.

A learned language is more than a tool to get what I want. I want to learn more than the basics. It’s a dance and a song I’m avid to dance and sing because I want to swim in those waters, fly among those clouds. I want to bathe in those currents.

I don’t like being trapped in English. I want to break that mold, not just in style but in substance, at more formative layers of mind and body.

I’m not very subject to depression, but not being able to speak and learn a foreign language has been a trial. I can understand how and why it can be a severe blow to your equilibrium.

The article I’m referring to is by Kitty Hannah Eden.


My publication is called Anima Fire

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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