I’m trying to learn Dutch at the moment. I have a good teacher who combines patience with perseverance.
Sometimes, when under pressure of real conversation, I find the words I am trying to recall seem to take flight in my mind, like a flock of chattering, mocking starlings, whirling around in my head while I stand, vainly trying to catch the one I want for that next part of the sentence… only to find I have a word of Welsh, French, German….
Later, when the pressure is off, an imagined fluttering of wings and the scratch of small claws on my shoulder accompanies the very word I was looking for, sitting there calmly in view of my mind’s eye.
The mind and memory are strange things.