There I was in the Beijing China Airport (more in another post about why I was there) hearing all around me a cacophony of conversations and announcements and I understood nothing. And I was reminded, humbly and with more sympathy than I ever had before,  what it must be like for immigrants coming here who don’t speak English. I once saw a movie about a girl who comes here from Ethiopia and is barely subsisting and doing menial jobs, surviving day by day. In the beginning I thought there was something wrong with the sound track because all around her it showed people’s mouths moving but it was like she was deaf and could not hear what they were saying and she felt frightened and alone.  I was with my husband and it was not for a prolonged period of time but still it opened my eyes a bit. I also wondered that to those who have no faith in God whether hearing me talk about it is like babble to them and and encourages me to find a way to speak their language or translate in a way that might open me and them up to a dialog of understanding.



I am in the Beijing Airport.

A nonsensical babble

in rhythmic and often to my ears

dissonant chords

flows all around me.

I see their mouths move,

here the constant announcements

over the speaker

but it is all Chinese to me.

They laugh or gesture,

but are they happy or sad,

or have I offended or gone unnoticed,

missed some vital information?

What a relief t suddenly hear

an English translation

but then wonder if I have missed

the essence of the message.


Diantha Zschoche.4/14