Monday, June 23, 2014

An Old Ozark Friend's Remarks . . .


My old Ozark friend Deva responded to my report on my keynote address with effusive praise (overpraise, actually):
You do such incredible things! I can barely speak English. In fact, recently one of the reviewers for a course assignment that I turned in said I should work with a native speaker until I developed a better grasp of the language. He would have been amused to know that one of my primary job responsibilities is to take broken English and make it into professional reports.
Her anecdote reminds me of my first foreign experience, when I was living in Switzerland. I didn't learn much French or German, but I did manage to forget a lot of English. Anyway, she then added:
I'm honored to know such an intellectual as you are.
This, from a woman who was sort of awarded last year's Nobel Peace Prize! If she only knew my actual worth(lessness) . . . Anyway, I replied:
You are the incredible one. I've been impressed by you ever since I've became aware of your existence . . . which was quite early. You have seen and done things beyond my ken!

I wish I had known you better during our Ozark years, but I was somewhat of a loner. I was always heading off on my own into the wilds, or pedaling my way along back roads on my bicycle, forever seeking some high spot from which I could study the lay of the land . . .

I hope I get to see you again in this life - just in case there isn't another one . . .
Meanwhile, the quotidian world allures me with its siren call . . . "Wash the dishes," it implores . . .

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