Believe English

An Old Pond

   There is a pond in this picture that you can’t see, but you can imagine it.  The cold and the mountains and the sunrise  help you visualize the pond.  And you can put yourself there, in the morning with the sun just touching your face.  You know what that moment is like.
      There is a poem from Japan written by Matsuo Basho more than three hundred years ago about a pond like this.  We cherish this poem because it asks us to be in a moment.  Not that moment three hundred years ago, but the moment that is now- for you and for me.
There is a now in Basho’s poem that we can’t see, but which we can experience.
       The poem has power because we can’t see the pond.  The pond doesn’t have a name or adjectives, a time or a place.  When we point too much people can’t see what we are pointing at. They are thinking too much about what we see and not what they see.
        Sometimes when we think too much about our English we can’t speak.  And people listening to us do not hear what we are saying, they only hear us trying to speak English. In that moment, when you are with another person, be with that person.  Put your textbook down.  Don’t think about what you want to say; say what you want to say.   Let the other person listen- to you.