Dear Deuce

Blunder

March 23, 2019


I don’t reproach the spring, with its dragging chill and rain, to still linger. A spring has its own agenda; it will leave when it feels like leaving. I also cannot blame summer for clinging to its splendid quirk of patience. Its often coming later than expected seems more a trademark now than a personality choice.

But I have a sweet fancy for where the full-blown spring and early summer meets. A splash of cheer comes to the air when that meeting takes place. I find myself in full reveries of the fragrant days of April, fizzy May, and fiery June, especially when it is not nearly there yet. With the security of distance, life can be looked at with curiosity. Ever wondered why April, May and June are the only months that are also names of people? I think they are such pleasant times of year that people want to remember and to be reminded of, day by day, sometimes for a lifetime.

In the curious days of waiting and hoping, I read dead authors to isolate myself further, take walks in museums to lose myself among the long-gone. The little distance from one artwork to another is the process of having the past still in your contemplation while subtly preparing to encounter the next.

When there is an intention to write I would have days and days filled with thoughts, mumbling in my head. And when thoughts trail off feeling starts. They mumble in English, because that is what I write in now. It should mean that I feel in English, which is intrinsically wrong as it is an adopted language for me. In another logic, maybe feelings have their own language—not any human language, they had only chosen one that you know to speak to you in order to communicate. No matter what they speak to you in, a native language, an adopted one, or an abandoned one, the communication is bound to be always a little bit off.

The more I write the less I know how to speak. Words always come out a little wrong. Transcribing feelings to a language form is in itself an insufficient and futile act. To speak is to blunder.

I hear a lot: I don’t know how to act. I don’t think any of us do. In a large sense none of us know how to live. We live by observing and mimicking others (who are only as clueless as we are), establishing our own internal model of good and bad, line of right and wrong, and more observing and mimicking to update that model and line. Some happen do it right, or appear right, judged by a very limited standard in a very short time window. To act in any social setting is to blunder.

By that logic absolutely none of us know how to love. It is simply a void for which one does not have words.

Should we then give up on speaking, acting, caring entirely? A silent distance keeps you safe. Silence speaks volumes, so I heard. But that kind of speaking is not to communicate, but rather to punish, to perform an act out of cowardice or control, in the name of caring or discretion.

To speak or act is to face the challenge of being misunderstood, showing vulnerability, seeming uncool, and getting played. To blunder.

But I still venture.