Funny. I was just reading an article on polyglots and communication and it got me thinking. I remember during my Communication classes, how my friends and I used to make fun of the typical examples used by the professors, like “A says something to B and B doesn’t understand shit”. My career and my university studies mainly focused on communication. I currently speak three languages and studied at least three more, all for the sake of communication. I started writing in a foreign language at 15, just because I didn’t want my parents to read my journals, all for the sake of miscommunication. I am supposed to be a sort of switchboard. Yet I had to turn 31 to understand that true communication has nothing to do with words and language.

This statement might clash with the idea of writing, but not so much. The communication process taking place here is not in the meaning that my words convey to the (potential) readers but in the process of turning feelings into meaningful thoughts, which only then can be transcribed into words. In this, there are no barriers, I am the only translator of my consciousness and the only filter is my capability of listening to myself. I am connected to myself and therefore I communicate. In two-parties-communication, there are other filters involved: the willingness of A to connect to B, the ability of B to understand, the interest they share in an effective communication.

Professionally, that works wonders. Privately, not even close. Words come at the very end of the process, any language they may be formed in, but the rest of the system is non verbal. It all comes down to the kind of communication that needs no utterance, to the unsaid, to what you read in people’s eyes, expression and body. If the invisible bridge that connects two hearts has collapsed, no word, no language will ever restore it. A glance encloses a thousand words, none of them ever spoken out loud, a gesture can flood your heart of meaning. Communication is empathy and words can disappear.

I cannot under any circumstance try to express my feelings with words, and that’s all is being asked of me. I cannot recreate the basis for such a deep level of communication on language, it has to transcend it. No promise, no contract can make up for the fallen bridges. If empathy comes with love or love with empathy is still a mystery, but I feel none now and see no way to lay the first stone to start rebuilding.

 

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