Monday, November 09, 2015

Things we hear and things that go without saying


I love subtext.  I love innuendo.  I love the silence between sentences and the spaces between words. The darkness is what makes the stars stand out.

I love satire.  I love wit.  I love poignancy.  I love prescience.  And I especially love people who can appreciate these things.

I don't think I've been conscious 2 minutes in the last 20 years where my love or appreciation for those things that go unnoticed has wavered.  I notice now by reflex what others don't or can't notice when they try.  I correct people's sentences in my head as they talk to me and I notice people's errors as they make them before they finish.  Pobody's nerfect - I'm don't waste time judging them.  I understand the road they've taken just by looking at them, and the time it takes to be good at anything.  My understanding delights me.  I'm not big on offering corrections because I don't assume I know better.  I mostly just keep it to myself.  If asked I would offer an opinion.  If pressed, I would offer a complete opinion.  But how many people actually want to hear that?

I keep a lot to myself, I suppose.  I think, somewhere deep inside, I'm waiting.  I'm testing the world around me.  I'm prodding everyone to see if they notice.  I'm on the lookout for those who notice me noticing what others don't notice.

The one person that does this best, I had the good sense to marry her.

Most of the sentences I say out loud have some subtext, some words that were consciously omitted. There are the things that I say and the things that I determine go without saying.  But, by and large, they don't go.  By and large, people don't hear the things that I don't say.  And I find this...fascinating. Because there are so many things that people don't say to me that I hear so clearly.  I can hear people who aren't saying anything at all.  The silence in the world is so loud to me that sometimes it's deafening.

I'm not bragging.  It's just the truth of me.  Because my ears are so sensitive to silence, when people talk and use words in such feeble and pointless ways, it moves me inside.  People use words a lot like kleenex tissue or toilet paper.  You blow some excrement into it or you wipe your behind with it and then you throw it away.  You'd never think to keep a used kleenex and carry it with you.  You'd never think that toilet paper was a reflection of yourself.  It exists to be discarded.

To my ears, much of what is said is said in a forgettable way by people who have forgotten what they said even faster than they expect it to be forgotten by others.  When something is said memorably it is usually memorable only because of the magnitude of how badly it was said.  Feeble or pointless. Why say that at all if you were going to say it so badly?  I wonder.  Why not take a moment to think and say it better?  Saying it badly the first time will make it harder for you to say it well afterwards. The noise that you made dug the hole deeper.

We live in a strange world where the only types of people who can be counted upon to really measure their words are lawyers and politicians.  I watched Justin Trudeau giving a speech.  The whole country was united around him.  The reporters asking the questions were so happy to be asking questions of someone that would respond to follow up questions that any pretense of impartiality was eschewed.  They were on his side.  They wanted to hear him talk.  They were hanging on every word.

The first day of a politician's term is that politician at their most popular.  It was the mountaintop. They will only go down from here.  They will never have a better shot at genuine candor and levity.

And there was Justin Trudeau giving a press conference.  Reading the talking points like a robot. Taking every question like walking through a minefield.  Worried about saying the wrong thing.

I laughed.  I wouldn't do that.  I would smile.  I would smile and talk like I had something to say.  I would smile and talk like people wanted to hear me.  I would smile and pause when the silence spoke greater volumes.

I would smile and talk like I loved words.  And like words loved me back.

- Grandpa


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