Today I had a zoom meeting with someone I met in an Akimbo workshop.
She was in Montreal.
I began by apologizing. She could function in English.
I can get by.
My French is limited mostly to the present tense.
No future. No past.
No expertise either.
When I played clown with Philippe Gaulier in Paris
(yes, played. It was a school, but training does not suit what we did. Those who ‘trained in clown’ were absolutely horrible, adios immediately)
When I played in clown, I lived most of my life in humility.
The tools that I rely on most - my access to language, my knowledge base, my quick wit?
They were all gone.
I knew things.
I just couldn’t share what I knew.
I was treated like I was stupid.
I listened intently, picking up on very little that was said and understanding even less.
Relationally, I was an idiot.
Intellectually, I was lost.
I was so unbelievably funny.
I had such pleasure to be alive.
It was all there.
Everything I needed in the present tense.
As for the call today?
My colleague thought only having the present tense as a means of expression was a wonderful gift.
Live in French
Listen intently. Live with humility. Don’t rely on your expertise.