Monday, April 29, 2013

It’s all about communication -- or not

I call him a friend, though we’ve never met. Yet for years George and Ms Tioga have been an important part of my day. For all that timw he called himself a “Vagabonder Supreme,” a title I once dreamed of earning for myself.

Now, however, George has turned introspective, seeking to understand himself better and doing his best to explain his new insights to the audience he first won by describing the life of a boondocking vagabond. He is setting off in a different direction, and trying to explain that change to those who follow him. To do that will be a matter of communication, which seems to me his strong point. 

Last evening those thoughts of George and his new direction had me considering my own situation as I launch my own expanded blogging effort. Before long I was dwelling on a very different sort of communication dilemma. In my Best Friends and Promises story Aaron Peck has just checked his wife of fifty years into an Alzheimer’s ward. Now, alone in the big and very empty house, it is the absence of communication that demands his attention.

“He was reminded of how much he missed her presence and the subtle interactions they shared ---the soft touches in passing, the seemingly unnoticed smiles, even the unspoken aggravation she could communicate with the simple raising of an eyebrow.

In a particularly introspective moment Aaron reflected on how much of their relationship had been played out below the surface---those times when their verbal interaction was little more than redundant phrases and muttered code words, each carrying a long-established significance, conveying volumes of meaning in a handful of syllables.

It hurt, knowing that the personal dialect which had served them so well had ceased to be. The way they had communicated their love and caring was no longer effective, as though he was the only person left who spoke their dying language.”

As I read that bit of the story for the first time in months I realized how frustrating it must be, trying to communicate a head full, or heart full, of things you want to say when the one you want to hear your words will not, or can not, listen? 

In that case, what am I to do with all these thoughts and words I need to set free? Sometimes they will emerge as a prayer. Lately, however, those October Year insights have made their way into a story or blog post, to be shared in that way. Near as I can tell, that seems to be working for my friend George. Perhaps it will work for me. I’d like to hear what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gil,
    I am very humbled to be part of your story.

    I am going to follow your blog to see where you go.