Skywatch Friday: Speaking Connecticut
Not everybody speaks Connecticut. I learned that by leaving it and realizing through my changed perspective how much I love my native language. By Connecticut, I mean plain talk that is reserved--plain talk prefers silence to saying something that could cause offense but will cause offense to prevent the danger of being misunderstood--if being understood is important enough to deserve the risk. Boiled down: you speak when you have to, and you're clear when you do. This manner of being in most points south of here is considered blunt, direct, rude. (I know this because I got myself in all kinds of trouble just for being myself and meaning no harm.) We take that risk because we'd rather be rude than be misunderstood. In this light, it's ultimately about being loved and respected, loving and respecting. But we're not about explaining that; this truth should speak for itself--same as we speak for ourselves (when we absolutely have to).
I'm talking about being a Yankee, which doesn't bear talking about because we have a landscape to speak for us and we're not about doing all that talking. But that landscape. It is hard and unyielding and lonely and still at the same time it gives us everything we need to live here and now. We insist on it, and when we don't, we let it. New Englanders have a strange love affair with Earth. Call it what you want, though, it is love. And it asks for no words. We've learned to live without them.