Learning Your Language

I have longed to learn your language.

The symbols and shapes have such an unfamiliar beauty.

Representation and abstract ideas flow together in their delicate calligraphy.

But your language is fraught with pitfalls for those who did not grow up with it.

For example:

Your symbol for light makes perfect sense at first glance.

It is a circle, like our letter ‘O,’ and also like our sun.

It even has radiating lines––

Although the lines radiate inwards from the edge of the circle.

And ‘light’ in your language does not mean,

‘That which shows us the path ahead,’ as it does in our language.

Instead it means, ‘That which reveals things best left hidden.’

Even more confusing, your symbols for sleep and wakefulness seem almost identical.

I have studied them for many years, and still I cannot tell them apart.

The symbol for sleep is like our number seven, only it is tilted sideways,

And contains what appears to be an elongated asterisk (or perhaps a star) within its angles.

When I complain of this you tell me that context is everything.

Your signs for love and suffering are also similar.

Both are similar to a capital ‘Q’ in our lexicon.

Both contain what looks like our question mark but in reverse.

But ‘love’ is always enclosed in a circle, and ‘suffering’ is always bounded by a kite––

Or perhaps the diamond from our playing cards.

Now you tell me that ‘love’ and ‘suffering’ have exactly the same meaning in your world.

And in that moment I realize that it is the same in our world too.

Perhaps this was something best left hidden.