I am traveling again. Today I am in Austin, Texas. Hot. Hot. Hot. Like my Dad I am no good in the heat. But I love cities.
Everyone needs variety so this morning we walked a trail through the Barton Creek Green Belt.
This particular trail (I call it a track) runs right under an overpass so it is a curious combination of edgy urban and nature walk. Vehicles roaring overhead as we negotiated the rocky tree lined path added an interesting dimension.
Americans call it hiking and I call it going for a walk. If it is a long walk I call it a tramp. Semantics. Right?
So we walked and chatted. I had read that it is easier to purge the body of toxins through sweat so we discussed sweat and wondered where the moisture has been before it is sweated out. Under our skin? Where under the skin. In the cells? And how did the toxins get there and what really is toxic. Who decided it was toxic. Then I thought about crying. Not because I needed a good cry but when you have a good cry where does all that salty water come from. Is it waiting in some hidden reservoir just in case you give in and indulge in a good sob. Do you mean sob or weep. No, I mean sob. Do tears go off? Oh, you mean off as in stale? Yes. Are your first tears stale? Then we had to dissect the word indulge. If we enjoy an indulgence how can we enjoy crying. And then we wondered about stale again and cycled back to sweat. Maybe the first of the sweat is stinky because it is stale – like stagnant water.
And by then we had wandered totally off the track. We were lost. So I wandered off some more to take photographs while the map was consulted.
We have to be careful when we communicate. Words are not mathematics – words are not pure like numbers, they can mean different things within different contexts and different cultures and are easily mis-interpreted. I say or write things but often my American friends are doing fast translation to make sure they understood me correctly. This morning I said I walk to stay fit. My American friend thought I meant I walked so I stayed looking good.
So, I amended this to “I walk to increase my fitness”.
But now I am wondering what other words or phrases I use that may be misunderstood. It is easy to be misunderstood in this age of tiny word bites. Tiny bites in our words.
Interesting right. I think we need to add a healthy dose of kindness before we interpret each other’s words. Listen with a smile and an open ear then ask questions to begin the conversation. Too often we just judge a word and assume we get it and forget the conversation.
Some words are perfectly clear though.
I hope you are all having a lovely Saturday!