Sometimes, we say and do things with others, which stay with us and play on our minds as we ponder on the hazy reasons for saying what we said, for doing what we did.
We wonder: why did we say or do that and how might it be interpreted? Then, we get cold feet and distract ourselves in all manner of ways, some more pleasurable than others.
Such pondering and exercise of that delightful emotion of wonder and its corresponding thought process are wasteful — for we do not always speak to make a cogent, rational point that falls within a framework of belief through which we may logically evaluate each other’s propositions. Not everything we say is a proposition, is it?
Likewise, we do not always do things in accordance with a goal that falls within a wider, self-reflective and rational plan — we do not always operate ideologically; thank goodness for that!
Rationality, framework of belief, ideology: what self-defensive views of agents and their dealings with one another! What a way to build walls around our souls — mind you that some are more noble and decorative, more aesthetically pleasing, than others!
Sometimes, though, are these views not bitter mistresses of the soul we have to contend with and have to love, as we do with family because, well, who chooses their family? These mistresses are useful, if not essential, but bitter, so bitter in taste. Although, sometimes, we want our social meals to be bitter, don’t we?
But, once in a while and in certain contexts, don’t these fine mistresses need — a pause, a demotion, a holiday, a moment to powder their noses and make themselves presentable, once more?
Are these mistresses not prolific in generating reasons for people to use their words and deeds as weapons to break others down; as ladders to climb their walls; as hammers to crack them open and draw out their fruit; as chisels to carve out their image onto their bricked personal presentations; as doors through which they may enter them; as gentle hands with which to touch and soften them. Alas, what would life be without these fine mistresses? Yet, not everything we may need to live (or to live well) do we need to obsess over–do we?
Sometimes, we want to make an impression — in fact, don’t we always just want to make an impression, even when we impress upon others a ‘rational’, ‘virtuous’, ‘ideological’ and ‘truthful’ person?
Most of all, do we not want our words and gestures to be carried home by others — home to that pristine, holy, ‘safe space’ wherein dwells their profound openness and delightful vulnerability? To that place where only God enters as one’s closest companion? A place where people drop their armour, their clothes, their walls, to reveal their beauty in its perfect expression, in its nakedness — body and soul. The place which makes everything about a person not only a work of art — but moves it as its condition for existence. We all sense it, but nobody knows it — we all feel it, but nobody could put a word or three to it.
We speak and do things so we may dwell with others’ beauty even though never fully may we experience, perceive and be witness to it. For such is the fate of the human soul, is it not? We are eternally private as we eternally yearn, we eternally tremble and quiver over the prospect of — being seen.
So, when we utter profound nonsense with the right tone that strikes deliciously wicked impressions, the ones which carry through and dwell in others’ minds, what, really, do we want, what are we doing?
When we make exquisite bodily gestures that ripple through others by means of their senses, leaving them with the feeling of our presence pressed upon their bodies in an uncanny form, what, really, do we wish hope to achieve, what is our intention?
Do we not hope that what they take with them is not our words and their meaning — not what our actions achieve for them — but us? Do we not bestow them with a gift of us for them safely to carry home — a sweet memory in our image for which we use the best of us to engender and seemingly worst of us in retrospect?
Do we not want them to take us with them as they march onward and upward — our voice, our memory, our impression, our beauty as is confound in the mind through our words and as it travels on the flesh through our bodily gestures. Do we not want them to let us join them — through the safety and self-control of their own imagination — in that place where they dwell in their fullest, clearest beauty?
Surely that is what we want, but so often it comes at a cost that only a Shakespeare of the mind could do justice in expressing in its fullest tragic-comic glory!
We make ourselves vulnerable to impress upon others, to enter their minds and bodies, but regret it in retrospect — why is that?
We are the impressing and impressionable beings, are we not? Why are we ashamed of it?
What if communication is — really — about producing impressions, rather than making a point, or three? What if what matters most socially is how we affect each other, not what we try to make each other understand and so nurture the fear that we will fail?
Sometimes, understanding and its products are bitter mistresses who get in the way of our sharing beauty with one another.
That is why, sometimes, it is permissible — no, absolutely essential! — to periodically suspend our understanding and —