Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Art of Interruption

People are uncomfortable with silence. It’s too bad. So much thinking can be done in quietude. Not so, during active, empty, uncomfortable, rambling.

I think it is impolite to interrupt people when they are talking. I feel a deep churn in my gut when I realize, that I simply have to.

I love to listen. You can learn from listening, more than from talking. Layers of information, cloaked in social cues, sparkling with innuendos and thousands of years of biology and culture all terminating in the one wonderful and worthy star of a speaker.

I should not lionize the speaker by listening so intently though. Most people are just talking shit. Saying nothing. Wanting to talk. Wanting to fill something that isn’t empty.

I am realizing that in professional meetings, no one invites silence. The only way to speak is to interrupt. It’s disgusting, but necessary. Can I gracefully interrupt? My first word has to overlap with your last or I will sit there like a modern unpainted mime, making you uncomfortable with my silence while you make me uncomfortable with your unbroken string of breathless thoughtless sounds.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Homemade Gypsy

There is something so sad and deeply painful about Halloween. The homemade costumes that reveal what you hide in your junk drawers and the half-baked ideas you have in your head, that nobody “gets”. All glued together as a patchwork of vulnerability, for the world to see. As a child, you want so hard to be something. That universal yearning is so sweet and innocent, I almost can’t stand to think about it. So your Mom makes it real. You find yourself at the mercy of her versions of your ideas, which are limited by her energy and time. Then, after hours of insisting for this particular scarf, and not that one, you put on a coat as you go off to trick-or-treat, and the whole thing is ruined and even more unclear. You are just you again, but poorly dressed.

As a young adult, on Halloween, you stand around at parties explaining to each newcomer what you are, pathetically, because it is not clear. Because you aren’t clear. Because you want to be something that you are not, and that no one is. Because it all seemed so magical when you birthed the idea, and now the foolishness rises slowly around you and fills the room.

As an adult, it is ok to be silly, and to wear a costume, but some manifestations of this are more uncomfortable than others. This year, Halloween has escaped me. My heart is not in it, or glued to my sleeve, it’s nowhere. I am sad because I miss something, but I can’t tell if it’s youth that I miss or being a homemade gypsy.