Sunday, March 16, 2014

Language Barriers

The most beautiful things in life are untouchable.  Some are impossible to touch, and must be admired from afar.  Sunsets, rainbows, the stars.   Too far away to do anything but enjoy them.  Then there are butterfly wings, coral reefs and snowflakes.  While they are close enough to touch, even the gentlest fingers could render them destroyed forever.

I've been avoiding my blog for many months.  I think about writing often, however I've been too afraid to touch the most beautiful experience of my life.  As if putting it down on paper will shatter it somehow.  Will render this amazing entity useless or at least far less beautiful than it once was.  It's so delicate, I've been terrified to touch it, even with words.

He was born three and a half weeks ago.  This isn't his birth story.  That's so much easier to tell.  That is just remembering facts and events.  What isn't easy, and has been nearly impossible to do, is describe my feelings through this experience.  I wake up at night thinking I may have the words to say, but them I realize they don't exist.  I have to try, I know.  I owe it to him.  He needs to know how incredibly special he is to me, and how much he was dreamed of by his parents.  There is not a fiber in my being that doubts that his parents will ever falter in making him understand how loved he is by them.  It's my job to make sure he knows what he means to me.

I went to visit him last week.  He has grown already.  I finally got to see his eyes open wide.  I met so many members of his family.  They are so loving, kind, gentle and generous.  I can already tell he will be the same.  His grandfather doesn't speak English.  I can't communicate with him at all verbally.  But I see the way he looks at me and hugs me and the gratitude is unmistakable.  I understand.  He holds out his arms to take the baby and rocks him on his knees.  Love has no language barriers.

There are many words that don't directly translate to my language.  I read recently about a German word meaning "the feeling of being alone in the woods".  There is no English word for that.  There is also no English word for "the feeling of carrying a baby for another couple and birthing that baby and watching him go home and be loved by them".  I wish there was a word, or even a combination of them that would communicate to other people, make them understand.  I feel like a failure, the writer in me is shirking away hanging my head in shame for my inability to pour out these feelings in beautifully parallel words that will instantly make anyone reading feel as though they understand.

I can't write about this the way I want to.  I stumble over my own words as I try to explain to well-meaning people who are looking to satisfy their curiosity.  I've had so much support, so many positive, wonderful people who have sent me loving thoughts and sent notes and emails and my gratitude for that is immeasurable.  I am incredibly humbled by the outpouring of emotional and loving thoughts.  I sat many nights starting at the letters on the keyboard willing them to please start making sense of this all.  How do I express my own gratitude, my love, how do I tell you all that this experience was so life changing I hate even writing that because it sounds so frivolous compared to my actual feelings I just want to tear up this paper except it's not paper it's my iPad and it's expensive and I need it!

Slowly, a part of me has become elated.  I was able to experience something so incredibly profound it's beyond words.  While I desperately wish to share it with the world, part of me revels in the fact that I simply cannot.  It's far too deep within me, too far away from the words I know.  It can't be explained by mouth or on paper, in English, Chinese or any language.  It belongs to me and me alone.  And maybe that's what keeps it eternally beautiful.