Unshared thoughts are like lost embers floating up from the chimney flue when they're not anchored to spoken language. If we consider the words we choose and the feelings we use to express them, we quickly learn that language has the capacity to capture a fraction of what we mean. As much as it adds lustre to a perambulation of the unspoken idea finally freed, language is also held within a mystery. We can't ever cover all that we want to communicate. And, more often than not, when we do? It's misinterpreted.
Why do some people think you can read their minds? Why do some people think they can read your mind? Or even more annoying, why do they think they have the right to even attempt it?
I may seem like an open book in this venue, but I'm not as open as I appear. Like you, there are many more facets of me than you will never know.... heck, there are some of mine I havent even met yet. Truth be told there are only a couple of people on this planet who I may be emotionally comfortable enough to completely strip down to place inside me where I am that vulnerable. That type of "safe" is a very complicated place to reach.
We have a tendancy to try to sum someone up with a few descriptive sentences don't we? And for most people, that's just about enough for them. They don't want to go any deeper than that. Most descriptions are really only a reflection of themselves....of what they value, of what they like and dont like. They are judgement statements decorated with adjectives, whose definitions have a beginning and an end. In fact, I believe that most of these statements float in the cosmos of an illusion created by perceptions rather than in any essence of clarity.
Ask someone to describe you. What words would they choose??
I'm guessing if I asked 5 different people in my life how they would describe me, there would most likely be common threads....some of which may be correct. Some may be completely off the charts simply because of the situation or the events surrounding our encounters.
Believe it or not, there are some out there who think I'm simply a moody complicated opionionated blowhard! Can you believe that??? There are some who think I'm a bleeding heart pushover whose lead by her spilling out emotions. Can you believe that??? Then, there are some who would put money on their belief that I'm just a dramatic wingnut who can't get her life in order. Can you believe that???? Ok, here's one...... a threat. I'm a threatening overbearing shit disturber. Now, that's very difficult to swallow isn't it? :) Wait a minute! I think there may be one or two who see a few angelic tendancies in me, but how can that be? Then, there are some who think I'm nice. hmmmm..........very Canadian, I am.
Do I care? Of course I care. But, there's probably not a damn thing I can do about it.....people form their opinions on impressions they make in a slice of an instant. weird. Interpretations are simply that.....owned by the one who formed them.
We are all multi-layered. I may seem to be an open book, but there are several chapters I have yet to reveal. There are several chapters I have yet to discover. I may have all of the above characteristics, but slice me another way and you'll see I am more like you than you may be willing to admit..... or I may be willing to admit.
Humans have much in common.....we all have the same goods inside us, but we are far from cookie cutter replicas or one another. Our sameness.....the capacity to feel the same feelings, to yearn for the same dreams etc is what allows us to connect. Our differences is where we either clash or appreciate each other's unique gifts. My fingerprints are etched with my own design as are yours. And the only way I have to clarify who I am is through my language.......
oh, wait a minute..........
I could show you who I am too. Action without words? Now that's a thought. Sitting together in a comfortable stream of silence? Maybe that's the ideal place to delve deeper into the understanding of our unique human fingerprints. Maybe we rely too heavily on choosing the right words, on trying to find a common language........on trying NOT to be perceived the wrong way.........on trying to project an impression we may think is suitable, acceptable, welcoming....or even trying to be outrageously memorable?
Sitting together in silence strips away pretence and somehow levels any sort of power imbalance. Though it offers up enormous room for interpretations and second guessing as to what the other is thinking etc, eventually if both people are authentically genuine and honest in their physical expressions ...... comfort will be felt in the softening of the holy space between.
As John O'Donahue so eloquently captured in his writing, an unspoken essence between two friends is also present, no matter what the distance is. He referred to it as the holiness of Spirit. It makes me wonder if this Spirit's language can express our truth far better than we humans ever can?
My second posting on Carmi's thematic photography theme...."human." Check out more at Written Inc.