This is how my bed looks when I get out of it. I don't move around much when I sleep. I took this photo while Doug was biking to Goshen and it was just me, in my old bed, all alone.
It was quite an adjustment to learn to sleep with someone else after years of sleeping alone. One of the most annoying things to adjust to after I moved in with Doug was how the bed is a wreck every single morning. When it was just me, I would get out of bed, pull up the sheets, smooth the covers and I was done. It is a major under-taking to make a bed that Doug gets out of. After nearly three years, I've adjusted.
I've been reading Eat, Pray, Love. When Liz writes of the joy she experiences while learning to speak in Italian, it reminds me of my love of learning to speak French. I don't speak French too often these days. I first started to study french in the ninth grade and was fortunate to have a teacher who insisted "en Francais, sil vous plait!" Which basically meant, in her classroom, that you didn't speak in English, but always, always in French. My verbal skills were always stronger than my written skills. If I had the masculine or feminine agreement correct, it was more happenstance or luck rather than knowledge. I always thought I should go back and start over, from the very beginning and get it right But I probably won't ever do that.
Due to my strong verbal skills, when entering college, I went to a language lab where they sat me down in a booth with headphones and I had to test as to what I listened to. I did quite well. That didn't necessarily mean that I should have tested into the upper level college French class that I did. My professor was Dr. Gilman. An eccentric man who summered in Europe, I think he owned only one suit which he wore day after day. He may have owned two suits, but no more. If memory serves me correctly, he was left-handed. Left or right, he flew across the chalkboard with lightening speed. I clung to my desk in fear.
Language is fascinating. For me, learning a second language was making connections. I still believe it is like solving a puzzle, making connections. Learning is using the synapses in your brain and firing, similar to using a spark plug to run the engine of your car. Learning French, for me, was fun. I took to it like Lucy gobbling chocolates off of the conveyor belt. I knew how to say this word or phrase in English, so how do I express the same in French?
Then, it seemed, that everyone in my life studied Spanish. So what did I do? I started making the same connections between Spanish and French that I had made between English and French. Because French, Spanish and Italian are Romance Languages, there are similar words. In Spanish, the word only is "solamente." In French, "seulement." In my mind...both relate to being alone and in french, alone in soul. I adore being alone. Not constantly, but I do enjoy the company of self.
One of my favorite French words is"corbeille." Lovely, isn't it? What do you think it means? It means wastebasket. In French, even the word for a trashcan sounds romantic.
For years, one of my amusements and delights stemmed from other people's misunderstanding of a phrase I often said in French. To say "that's all," is "c'est tout." People wouldn't even respond with "what?" They would simply answer, "toot," thinking for some reason that I had said "say toot."
Learning to speak French was a joy. Something you have to do "tout seul." What have you learned to do that gives you joy? Au revoir mes amis.