Spanish has two verbs that mean “to know”, Conocer and Saber. Saber, the commonly used verb, has a very direct, literal meaning. I know where the street sign is. I know the letters of the alphabet. I know your name.
Then there is conocer. As I understand it, this verb is reserved for a deeper knowing. It connotes a certain understanding. Yes, I KNOW Bob. Boy do I know Bob. Man, If you know Bob, like I know, Bob…
This distinction, it seems, is often lost in the English language. Sometimes, it’s lost in daily life. How often have you heard it “he knew me, but he didn’t really KNOW me.”
And it always sounds silly. How could you know so much about a person and not know the person? What’s that missing piece? Where is the implied essence if it can’t be derived from the details and nuances and routines and choices people make?
I don’t know. But it is there. Somewhere. Like a thing to be touched. You can feel it. And some people you know a week and you know them. Really know them. You understand where they are coming from. Other people you can bunker down with and ask a billion questions and even grow to know their patterns and guess their next moves and never understand their needs or motivations well enough to truly feel you know them. You can look at them and know there’s a glass wall where there should be open space. You have not, in actuality, been let in.
And what you see through that glinting glass? Well,that aint a window to their soul, baby.