My daughter got into Drexel among multiple other universities. Though I never had any doubts it was a relief to her as one of her first cousins had already been told he was accepted to Indiana and Michigan State.
I am to blame for some of the short term discomfort she felt as I forgot what it was like to be a senior and to know many others who had been admitted while waiting to hear from the schools I applied to.
She hasn’t made any decisions yet about where she wants to go as she is still waiting to hear from a few schools.
And I haven’t told her that I would like to tell her grandfather and that it got me thinking about one of her uncles that she never met.
Didn’t tell her about some of the rabbit holes I have gone down and how his short life reminds me of the importance remembering we only get one shot at this.
And in the midst of it, I look at the full moon under this Texas sky and say I remember the days of YLC and MLBF and wonder if such things are ghosts of the past or if they ought to be ghosts of the future.
Wonder if my thoughts are so loud that I asking can you hear me is a silly question.
I watched When Heroes Fly for a second time. I could tell you about how both Israel and South America offer familial connections.
Could tell you about their importance because of that or simply say I ought to be multilingual. I ought to be able to converse in English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish instead of my current level of fluency.
Perfect in English and just ok in the other languages. When I focus on any one of them things come to me relatively quickly, but they should be better.
So I watch some shows with subtitles and my abilities improve. Used to be the only native born American in an Israeli company and had fun taunting their English the way they taunted my Hebrew abilities.
It was all in good fun and we learned together, me probably more than them because in the office it was natural for the group to slip into Hebrew. I was the only non-Israeli and they told me they would force me to learn to swim.
There have been fewer moments where I was immersed in Yiddish, especially the last 20 some years, but they were there.
You communicate differently when you have to put effort into thinking about what words to use.
That is not something that happens to me often in English, especially when I am writing. I generally can put something upon paper that is free flowing and meaningful.
My biggest challenge there isn’t as much as finding the right words but in making sure those words are read.
If they aren’t seen it doesn’t matter how artful or eloquent you are. You’re on mute.
I think often about being more focused on building my skillset in other languages. It was very common for members of my family to be able to speak, read and write in other languages.
Ought to be me too, if I put the time in.
If you haven’t seen CODA you are missing out. That movie was fabulous. The link is to the trailer and it paints a brief but solid picture of the flick.
There have been moments where I have been in situations in which I wondered if deaf people feel as frustrated as I did.
It didn’t matter that I can hear because the people I was among didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak their language.
Sometimes we found ourselves a step above that where maybe we could share a couple of words in French, Arabic or Russian and a smattering of English.
But they always included rough sign language that we used on the spot in unofficial games of Charades.
You stood there and acted out a scene hoping that what you did translated into something the other party understood and that you could understand their reply.
It is the Winter of ’94 and I am listening to the Cranberries sing Zombie on a bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
Somewhere after the lines about tanks and bombs there is a loud thump against the window my head is resting against.
It makes me jump and I look up and see three people attacking the bus with rocks. I pull off my headphones and hear several curses and people encourage the bus driver to start moving.
He turns his head and yells back that he isn’t going to run a red light. A moment later he turns back and we drive onto the highway and head out.
It is about eight months since the Northridge earthquake. Eight months since Dad and I took my grandparents out of their apartment because the quake has left it listing to one side.
It will be red tagged and destroyed.
Grandpa tells me he is 80 years old and that this is irritating but would have been ok if he had been 60 because he would have been up for an adventure.
Back on the bus 25 year-old Josh figures that 60 is pretty damn old and that if grandpa thought that it was a good age for an adventure I ought to be just fine.
Twenty-eight years later fifty something year-old Josh is glad he didn’t get to experience the full adventure.
They say the first suicide attack was in ’89 but that the height of the bus and other bombings was in 2002.
If I tell you I was around for some terrorist attacks it would be true. And if I tell you that it is not something we consciously worried or thought about that would be true too.
It was no different than keeping my eyes open when I walk through parts of LA or Dallas.
Probably came closer to danger when I drove through parts of the LA riots. I would go back without a second thought, hell I did.
But the real point here is more about experiences in life and moments of impact.
Could draw in a comment about what could have happened had I been part of an attack and potential communication issues, that would fit with other parts of this post.
I had different plans and was acting upon them even if at times it was hard and then I heard the bells in my head.
Heard them and ignored them.
“Not this time bells, not this time.”
But they were incessant and grew progressively louder like one of those fancy alarm clocks that is designed to move from gently rousing you to forcing the issue.
I am not sure if someone is asking “can you hear me” or if I am asking them.
The lack of certainty hasn’t prevented me from pushing open a door to take a look and see if anyone or anything is on the other side.
We only get to go around once, might as well take some time to smell the flowers, and do more than watch the scenery as it passes by.