Once upon a beach, we found a cave.
Actually, technically my kid found it. We got curious because caves do that to people. The cave was about 400 m long, but we felt comfortable walking through it because there was a light on the other side. Actually, let's be honest. My kid felt comfortable going through the cave and I felt compelled because who wants to hear about that child that was lost in a cave inasmuch as his parent was scared of the dark and didn't follow him. No one.
Anyway, we left the beach behind us, braved the dark unknown and emerged on the other side of the cave at (Ta-da!) another beach.
A lot of things don't come naturally to me. For starters, I am not an editor. Not by a long shot. I don’t even pretend.
I have to think really hard about where to put commas. I also use ellipses in my screenplays more than the acceptable amount.
Truth is, I don’t even edit my writing (or myself if we're being honest) very well.
I fell in love with words when I was a kid. They’ve been coming out of the middle of me since I was five.
But I found something interesting in 2020. I started studying other languages.
Because if you think that we’re the only ones with a beautiful way of saying things, your world is too small.
I read a book from Sweden.
I studied a poet from Germany.
In homeschool, we’re reading children’s fairy tales from Africa as we study the geography of that beautiful continent.
I studied Hebrew so I could understand etymology better.
And of course there is Top Gear from England because all writers run out of adjectives sometimes.
I also study Korean everyday so I can learn to understand it. I think I love it because it’s so different.
Then it hit me.
In the languages I’ve come across, there is one universal symbol. Deep breath.
Can you think of one that doesn't use the "?" mark?
Every single language I have seen asks questions. Every culture knows that there are questions to be asked and answers to seek. The human family on a primal level understands that our existence dances around somewhere in the asking of those questions.
I don’t know why this makes me feel so connected to humanity, but it does. I love everything about the “?” mark now. It means that every person has things they don’t understand yet.
We all have questions and caves.
It means I am here to:
Get comfortable sitting with unanswered questions.
Some things we just don’t need to know, but we should ask anyway.
Never stop seeking answers.
Hold others who are asking their own questions in their own way. Don’t judge.
I still use a stupid about of ellipses and can never remember if a comma comes before or after “but” and “and”.
But the “?” mark...that I get.
What is something that makes you feel connected to others?