I ventured out to willfully make a fool of myself tonight, although I realized in the first five minutes that was hardly the case. Once I lanced my ego, I enjoyed a solid hour of conversation in Italian with six complete strangers. My vocal cords and vocabulary were grimy with rust. Gingerly, I dusted off the preterite, marveled as people used the subjunctive and conditional with relative ease. All the while I thought, I want to be able to do that.
It’s a matter of building, creating new foundations, erecting new walls, strong and stable, maintaining them, and sensing the right time to grow again. But this lesson isn’t confined to getting better at Italian. In juxtaposition, that might seem to be the superficial application, and incomplete. Patience is also involved, and caring.
We often live at such a frenetic pace, racing to the next thing, that we hardly give the whole of ourselves to the moment in which we are. And the moments that come before. There is a reminder that life is not a series of destinations, but consequential journey. Every action, every word, each sensation has impact on both how we view the great “out there”, and how we shape of our lives and our relationships.
I had the pleasure of experiencing this level of intention recently. It’s effects are subtle, this care, tenderness, and integrity. Something quite new to my experience. But it’s sticking with me in the best possible way.