There is too much said for the talking cure and not enough thought for the silence cure, the non-word therapy of silence. The non-word rebirth. Everyone should go to Hungary for a rebirth, a slippery slide through the bathing birth canal. Hungary becomes a blur of one bath after another where everyone floats around waiting for some type of cure. I don’t usually believe in bathing cures. I mean, is that water really going to seep into me and take away aches and pains and suffering? I don’t really have any joint complaints or inflammations to speak of. But my mind has seemed inflammed, insensed even, out of sense and sync with the present time. I’ve been off on a journey to the past where the little child in me has been leading me down labyrinth after labyrinth to it seems no real destination. Sometimes recently I’ve started to wonder if she isn’t just playing with me, seeking companionship in her elaborate games.
Well, out of sync with now, hand in hand with a child whose past pains will seemingly never end, I took a bath, a long, long bath, with a bunch of fat Hungarians. We drifted by each other in our bathing costumes, drifted by in the warm to hot water, stood under harsh waterfalls, stood on intempestuous geisers, wrestled laughingly in artificial currents, and God forbid, we never picked the lily pads! And low and behold, the silence cure began to have its effect. Now the water is not silent, far from it. It’s a constant flow and there is nothing poetic in the humming of the motorized rivers. The silence comes from them, these Hungarians chatting on and on in a language that is so hermetic that it becomes almost non-talking. There is a flow and rythm to the speaking so it is not a sound of nature. There is intonation and body language, smiling and frowning, gasping and giggling. It’s all there. In fact they have it all but we have only slivers of communications to hang on to as we drift by them in our artificial river. It’s surrealistic really, an absolutely amazing experience. You can say nothing. So little by little your mind silences. As you walk to the store to buy bread, you prepare the one or two words that you think might help, a yonaput here for greeting, a botchanaught there, in case you bump into someone (although I distinctly heard botchi for short being used over and over again) and then of course the dreaded goodbye word that would take up an entire line of this page if I had to write it out, but there again it kindly conjucts down to a mere vislat, or something of that type. But you see it’s all quite pointless this exercising words through the mind. You had better flex your fingers while preparing the communication real deal. Yes that’s right, it would be very bothersome to travel through Hungary without hands, and especially fingers. I suppose you could nod your head a lot. I did that too. But it’s the hands that matter. They make the difference between buying the entire five kilo sausage, the decorative pig’s head that is adorning the lunchean meat display or leaving with four delicate slices of paprika-spiced bologna. The hand also comes in handy when you can’t remember goodbye. I was reduced to a small wave of that miraculous member to express the closing of our encounters quite a few times…. until I mastered vislat of course and that childish gesture was tucked away in my pocket for eternity perhaps. But you see it is that childish gesture, that rendereing childlike that begins the rebirthing. Ah, the sliding through the Hungarian birthing canal is an effortless adventure if you let go. Don’t fight it, just slip on through the warm medicinal waters (they say slightly radioactive but we try not to think too much of that) Yes, hungary is for rebirthing. You come out the other side a new person.
Now let me specify that the intestines do not come through the Hungarian experience unscathed. I must be fully honest. After a week of Hungarian sausages, the intestines are reacting much like those of a collicky newborn, but the mind, ah the mind is cleansed of unwanted words, and perhaps even a few wanted words too, but one is reborn, new, fresh to encounter the world differently. So driving away from The Spa Kingdom, down a long, empty highway, it’s as if words flutter out behind you, bouncing off the pavement of the road and bumping against other cars as they stumble over each other. Perhaps the greatest danger in leaving Hungary is running into the big ugly words of some other foreign bather who has emptied his heavy sack right out there on the road in front of you. But that is a small risk because frankly there are not too many foreign voices heard in Zalakaros, Hungary. Now I’m sure Budapest would be different. But it is obvious that one who seeks non-word therapy musn’t go to Budapest. So leaving Hungary you leave a trail of words behind. Don’t pick and choose which ones to keep and which to leave. That would become tedious. Anyway, there are far too many words in one’s mind. We can truly get by with just a few. The Hungarian experience has just taught us this.