Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twelve Different Languages

"...the things we don't know about a person are the things that make them human, and it made me sad to think that, but sad in that reassuring way that some sadness has, a sadness that says welcome home in twelve different languages...."
~ Nomi in A Complicated Kindness

That line jumped off the page at me last night. I am always more comfortable around people when they show me their humanity. This book is all the more enjoyable because it's set in a fictitious little town that mirrors the community I live in. You can tell the author has lived in one, too. She most likely knows some of dearest one's relatives because they are scattered around her home town. I see myself within the story - inside the main character's head and in the lives of her neighbours, too. The ones who mean well but are out of touch with reality. That's not a flattering comparison but it's true. Been there, done that. Try not to live there now.

Which makes me think of one Sunday quite a few years ago. I was taking off my coat and boots in the church foyer when another woman asked me how I was. Instead of the polite "I'm fine" reply I looked at her and said, "I'm bitchy." This look of utter relief crossed her face and she told me how she really was. Getting those words out diminishes the power of the feelings. That's been my experience anyway.


Cat said...

I relate to that quote.

Have a happy holiday!

Owen said...

N is reading this book right now. I read it a year or so back.