Stories We Can’t Yet Speak
This morning I was listening to the latest episode of the podcast On Being where Krista Tippett interviews Bessel van der Kolk. author of The Body Keeps the Score.
It’s really good, both the show and the book.
If you listen to the podcast and read the book, then I don’t have to spend a lot time summarizing them for you, so thank you in advance.
During the interview, Van der Kolk said the nature of a traumatic experience is that the brain doesn’t allow a story to be created. This, I think, is what Tim O’Brien was talking about in his book The Things They Carried when he said it was impossible to tell a true war story. Just as, I think, it’s impossible to tell a true relinquishment/adoption story. You can’t do either because the brain doesn’t allow language to recreate the event. We don’t have words for true war stories or for what it’s like to lose your mother and to then grow up with someone who is both your mother and not your mother, or, if a man or two men adopted you, then someone who is both not your mother and not your mother.
We have stories that try to talk about those things.
I wonder what the other language looks like, sounds like.
I have the feeling we are going to find out this year. It feels like the adoption community is splitting open and new things (maybe a new language!) are about to spill out.
I vowed not to use screens from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday, so I’m cutting this one post short because I’m cheating. But I really wanted you to listen to that podcast, and tomorrow is Saturday, and Saturday is such a nice day to go for a walk and listen to new ideas so you can have some of your own.
Let’s get to the bottom of these stories. Let’s find out what real sounds like.
So, from Cheat City, much love.
Her name is Anne too.