Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Unsayable

Why is anything unsayable?

Because of the secrets we keep, that’s why.

We learn right from the get-go to keep secrets. Secret keeping is pervasive among human beings. It is pervasive in our largest institutions - think governments and (need I mention) the Catholic Church. Secrets are pervasive in our work environments, think high-profile, long-term employees leaving the company. We’ve all seen this happen. Never thought he’d leave wow I wonder what’s going on. He sneaks out the door one day, an email is sent out from the high-ups telling us that he’s left and using some stock language to thank him for his years of service and how much we have enjoyed working with him and then he’s gone, never to be heard from again. And the rest of us employees who apparently do not warrant an honest explanation are left to speculate and rumors are left to fly and people are left with an un-easy feeling about their own job security. Secrets.

Secrets are pervasive in our homes. As children we learn from a very young age that we aren’t privy to the secrets our parents keep but we know they are there. Our parents keep their secrets, sometimes between themselves and away from the kids and sometimes they keep them from each other and (worse yet) secrets are sometimes kept between one parent and a child and away from the other parent. When I was growing up my house was constant secrets. My mother has always been a staunch keeper of secrets. Still is.

It is through this phenomenon of secret keeping that so much of our personal experience becomes unsayable.

Unsayable in that we have learned to keep it wordless. Unsayable in that the effect of learned secret keeping causes us to detached internally, psychically from the things that need saying and therefore we lose the connection to those things that need saying simply because we have gotten the message from every direction and however subtly that we are to keep our secrets.

I don’t get it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I've Got Nuthin

Funny thing about blogs, they don’t really lend themselves to your blogging amigos just dropping by to say hello. Generally comments from those that are good enough to bother to read your thoughts are spurred only by a new post. I think that blogs should have a ‘just stopped by to say hey and wondering why we haven’t heard from you lately’ section.

I have often wanted to say something similar to bloggers with whom I’ve become somewhat familiar when I notice they sort of disappear after having built a reputation as regular posters but haven’t quite figured out what’s the politically correct way to do so without being invited by a new post.

It is one of those bits of phenomena that is always a reminder to me of how utterly impersonal is the internet. People write so beautifully and poignantly about some of the most personal aspects of their lives and I follow and I comment and I frequently recognize similarities to my own personal experiences but in the end I don’t know any of these undoubtedly excellent people. Strange.

I am oftentimes saddened by that aspect of e-connection with people because certainly in some of the blogs I follow I recognize people I would most definitely like to meet and talk with. Unfortunately that is unlikely to ever happen. The internet can bring people so close in proximity by virtue of disclosure of shared experience and yet we are all so far away in terms of geography, in that nobody knows what anyone looks like, in that mostly we don’t know of families and friends and pets and home decorating styles and so on. In the end we all have the sense to guard ourselves from too much internet exposure because, well there are predators out there right and ultimately we’re not entirely sure we want anyone to know it’s us (or maybe that’s just my hang-up).

I have run into a bumpy road recently and I’ve been somewhat caught off guard by it. It’s one of those things that kind of slaps you in the face – actually it was more like somebody walked up to me and gently removed the bag over my head and the blindfold over my eyes but not without first asking for my permission to do so (shout-out to my therapist here)  - and forces you to re-examine every bit of image you ever had about yourself. Freaking therapy man. It’s like a car wreck sometimes. You drive by, you know it’s ugly, you don’t want to look but you just can’t help yourself. Afterward you might not necessarily be sorry you looked but it sure takes awhile to wrap your mind around what you saw.

And I have to admit that I’m left a bit befuddled and unable to write much lately… and I was having so damn much fun just throwing down on paper any old thing that came into my mind. And now bupkus, nothing.  Go figure.