Purple's Platitudes

nothing but words …

Humpty Dumpty

19 October 2009

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master — that’s all."

Ever since the beginning, I have wondered who is the master and who is the slave. November 2nd 1979 … I wrote ten pages by hand, many years before I would ever have the luxury of a computer word processor, to chronicle a series of events in my life. It was an innocent, austere beginning. I believe I birthed something — but sometimes I suspect I was merely an amanuensis, although I have never dared look over my shoulder and seek out the source.

Nearly 29 years later, here I am …still sitting down and looking inward, allowing something to come out from deep within … always amazed, sometimes unsettled or even frightened. Words …

I do not often accept the praise and opinions of others, for I alone face the cavernous interior, exploring, seeking the unnamed and undiscovered, excavating both worthless dross and priceless treasure from the same caves and unmapped chambers. And yet, it would appear that the things I consider ordinary and unimportant might be enjoyed and perhaps even valued by others.

So, once again, I think am gaining the courage to go spelunking, to crawl through darkness and claustrophobic passageways and explore my own thoughts and feelings in a way that I have neglected lately, at least I stopped that process of journaling that I once considered my legacy. Yes, I am guilty of that one self-indulgent conceit — thinking my words had enough value to outlive me somehow!

Being online has effectively seduced me away from the commitment I used to never question, for writing has been my life blood for most of my life. I know in the early years, as a teenager, I used my journal as a surrogate, as a vehicle for intimacy. It has always been so much easier for me to write and allow someone inside of me and to view my world through words. I have never judged that, but I have pondered it many times throughout the years, understanding it, exploring it, and almost, but not quite accepting it.

At this point in my life, there is one defining element, one absolutely essential ingredient that I will no longer settle for doing without out, no matter who I relate to or on what level, from the simplest to the most sublime, and that is communication! I don’t care anymore if it is words written or even the intimacy of actual one-on-one conversation, on the phone, or in person, but I refuse to accept anything less than open, honest communication!

If I were to have the proverbial shopping list, at the very top would be communication. I want and need someone I can just be myself with, no masks, no pretensions, no games … I want the freedom to say whatever I need to say without being fearful that something I say might tip the balance somehow and cause an irreparable rift in the fabric of the relationship. I want someone who will listen to me, even as I process raw thoughts, feelings, and ideas. I want someone who is not afraid to listen without prejudice, without preconceived notions and attitudes and perhaps most of all, someone who does not have to be right above everything else. Sometimes, for the good of “us” both must compromise, sacrifice, and find that happy medium in between.

And equally important to me, the other person must also have the same freedom to express themselves to me, the same desire to communicate. I do not consider myself superior in any way, but I do know I am articulate, very good with words, at expressing my thoughts, at being in touch with my feelings and even easily recognizing and identifying what others are thinking (sometimes) and feeling. I do not expect someone to be as equally masterful at sharing, but the willingness to share and keep working at it, no matter what, MUST be there. If not, don’t waste my time and yours.

I am not afraid of any real, genuine sharing. Truth can never harm me. Anything short of that is an entirely different story. But, unfortunately, the physiological and psychological dynamics of interpersonal communication, infinitely complicated by the emotional attachment and investment that necessarily comes with a relationship, will always lend themselves to misinterpretation, misperception, and all of those tricky interweavings that come with the very thing that Humpty Dumpty and Alice were contemplating … semantics. What words mean when we use them and what they mean when someone else hears them.

Forgive the lengthy, circular diatribe, but I have decided, to simplify it to its most quintessential, I need someone that I can talk to and someone that desires to talk to me too. Lay the foundation and everything else builds solidly on that. Without communication … words mean whatever we want them to mean and no two hearts will ever truly meet or connect. I’ve grown weary of that, learned those lessons the hard way, paid a pyrrhic price and quite simply … never again. I either be myself and share all of me and get the same in return or never mind. I cannot, and I will not compromise on this anymore. I choose. It’s up to you to do the same.

23 March, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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