She was thirteen with the confidence of someone older. She put her arm around me, leaned in, and said, “There’s something you need to know about life. When you assume, you make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.”
Thank you, my 13 year old daughter. That was several years ago. She’s taught me many things since.
When I was 13, I said something my father responded to, which I didn’t hear. I asked him to repeat. He hesitated, then said, “I have nothing to say.”
“But I heard you say something,” I said.
“If I have something to say, I’ll say it,” he said.
That’s when I learned you can’t pull words out of someone’s mouth. You can’t make someone speak to you or show a part of themselves they don’t want to share. I can invite and be receptive to others’ freedom of expression, and let them know my truth in the way the moment allows.
In celebration of an expressive man:
The cutting edge
the cutting edge
a French gentleman says
is where your language meets mine
we joke in English, and blague in French
and enjoy good food and wine
les expressions de la langue
l’énérgie des mots
prend forme dans les paroles quotidiennes
et câche dans nos jeux
He cooks up dinner
Makes us coffee
And so we are mutually fed
On trouve l’essence
dans le moment
in my french translator’s bed