On Communication

Juno Fullerton - Brazil


December 26, 2014

I‰Ûªm in love with an idea that I haven‰Ûªt even had yet. I can feel its spidery legs creeping up on me. Up my spine, chilling me to the bone, but at the same time making me feel so suddenly, joltingly, alive, that it‰Ûªs even a little bit scary.

åÊThe other day, while eating lunch, my family made an interesting observation. Obviously when speaking another language, the way a person speaks is more filtered. It has to be. As a beginner, one thinks in english and translates to portuguese. To all the friends and family back home who know me quite well, yes. I, Juno Fullerton, the empress of unfiltered babble and frequent, unwarranted, blunt comments, have begun to think about what I say before I say it.

I guess I‰Ûªm not very good at seeing how I come off to other people, especially when I‰Ûªm lost in thought. While talking at lunch, my mother and father, chuckling together, told me that before I speak I get very‰Û_ passionate. The word in portuguese is ‰ÛÏapaixonado.‰Û Basically, I make a bunch of funny faces. If they ask me what I did that day, and it was something I really enjoyed, I get a huge goofy smile on my face and many times make an enthusiastic hand motion or do a mini jump in my chair. If we‰Ûªre talking about political issues, which I genuinely enjoy talking about I usually develop a confused, self conflicted, look. It‰Ûªs as though I‰Ûªm arguing with myself. Which, most of the time I have to admit, I am. As time has progressed I have found it nearly impossible to take a stance on nearly anything political, as I have come to understand that absolutely nothing in this world is black and white, and there are always circumstances to be taken into consideration.

One of my more common looks (again, apparently, this feedback is from the women I work with at APAE, one of many schools in Brasil directed toward helping and teaching mentally challenged people of all ages) is the pensive face i make when I‰Ûªm having a slow day or deeply in thought either contemplating how to describe something a person or thing back home, the subject of the book I‰Ûªm reading , etc. etc.) or just completely lost in my mind. I tend to look up and around the room I‰Ûªm in, not usually focusing on the objects I see but moving my eyes in the same direction it seems thoughts are moving in head, until I finally end at a resolute almost tangible, conclusion. Or you know, someone loudly says my name and brings me back to reality.

I‰Ûªm sure there are many other expressions I could feasibly have on my face but that‰Ûªs all I can think of right now. My point is, the me part of me that I have when I speak English seems to be the same when I speak Portuguese. I could probably fill in all the words that I say in a reply with the word banana (banana, banana banana, banana) and say them with mais o menos (more or less) the same point or emotion across.

Our charisma, creeping up our spines like ideas, right before we talk and how we say things is the extending arm that forms relationships with others. It‰Ûªs what impresses on people an image of ourselves and is so much more important than the physical things we say. Our current sprouts from us, forming circuits and creating sparks that can never be forgotten.

Ah, here in Brazil, I feel such a wonderful, thrilling, electricity.

Juno Fullerton