Talking in Tongues

“Are you Malaysian?”
“No. My mother is.”
“So you can speak BM. It is your mother tongue?”
“Uh, no. English is.”
“You don’t speak your mother tongue?”

What is my mother tongue?

I have my mother’s tongue. I speak with it – forceful and opinionated, emotional and irrational, loud and intimidating. It was not my first language, though. I learned to speak it after many years of listening to her talking. My father’s tongue is far less passionate, but strong and sure all the same. I can speak his tongue too, but it takes far more effort and practice, more awareness. I guess that makes me bi-lingual.

Language is such an odd concept. Having to learn to find a way to communicate with others so they can understand you and vice versa. Not knowing someone else’s language is of course a huge disadvantage. But often others don’t see it that perhaps it’s they who don’t understand yours. Language is political. People use or don’t use it to make statements, gain power and control. Being able to speak someone else’s language can illicit either derision or gratitude. Being able to speak only a little can provoke ridicule and hate. As if just because I cannot speak your language fluently, that makes me a fool?

Whose mother’s land is this anyway? Whose tongue did you learn to talk with? What is your mother tongue? I’m sure most mothers would not be proud of the words that usually come from our mouths. That is not a language she ever spoke.

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Jet Lag Part III

Distance travelled
___________________ = Speed

Time taken

Distances –
Dubai – Jakarta, Indonesia = 6,570 km
Jakarta – Aberdeen, Scotland = 11,718 km
Aberdeen – New Orleans LA USA = 7,148 km
New Orleans – Jakarta = 16,840 km
Jakarta – Aberdeen = 11,718 km
Aberdeen – Glasgow = 196 km
Glasgow – Kota Kinabalu = 11,271 km
Kota Kinabalu – Kuala Lumpur = 1,624 km
___________________________________________
Total = 67,085 km

67,086 km
_______ = 2,096 km/year

32 years

So if 300,000 kilometres per second = speed of light or the speed at which light reaches my body, the moment I am seen, the moment of a body’s existence

Then

Distance Travelled = speed and time
Distance = speed of light x 32 years
Distance = 5.045 x 10 (12)

This formula does not take into account any refraction that may have occurred

Jet Lag Part II

How does one keep from getting ‘sea sick’ living on a constantly moving vessel? By looking into the horizon line? A place far far away which, by definition, is also continually moving further and further away? Choose a window seat and become a spectator. Sit outside and get fresh air. Go to sleep.

I’ve tried it all.

Using drugs is about the only thing I have not tried because I feel drugs only remove you further, create a fake reality, making you numb, anesthetising you, making it impossible for you to respond to stimulus in an effective way. You just won’t be able to save yourself in the end.

I have suffered with Jet Lag for almost 32 years now. The things I see from my window seat only serve to make me feel less and less in control of my surroundings, paralysed and incapable of action yet totally awake and lucid in the dream or nightmare I’m in.

Claustrophobic and frustrated, angry.

Without land to walk on, this mind is merely floating. My sea legs never developed. My wings never grew. I’m stuck. I’m sick. I’m lost. Adrift. Even falling would be better. At least it has direction.

What time is it now? Where in the world am I? How far to go before I reach landfall? They say the world is over 70% ocean. What is the likely hood then of ever reaching it? And the sky is infinite.

Timezones are the killer. Moving from one timezone to the next is disorientating to the point where you often forget the difference between past, present and future. But time is a man made measurement and what you are really feeling is distance traveled. I’ve traveled thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of miles from the place I was born. With that kind of disconnect from your self how can we expect to feel any sense of wholeness or homeness?

My place of birth is so far away I feel little for it which is a terrible thing to happen to a body, yet it remains enigmatic. If it holds any meaning to me still, I want to travel back and find out. It is a desert – mystical, mysterious, historical. There are few places on this earth which evoke such a sense of wonder and introspection. The desert has meaning to me. I understand it. I can relate to the wisdom in its desolation and isolation and the humbling affect of infinity it has on people.

I imagine the desert to be warm and windy with a hint of a smell of sea. I have not been to a desert since but perhaps that experience, now long gone over miles and miles, has left a memory, a map, a meaning.