A large group went out on a Friday night after a long week of trials and unnecessary frustration and did all the things expected on a gorgeous mid-September evening. Guy was there. I had never met Guy before. But wait… I had met Guy before. It wasn’t that I had met him before. But I certainly knew this… Guy. The festivities ended with all retreating to their caves looking forward to sleeping the memories away.
Insects and mammals of the night lived their lives in the refreshing glow of the harvest moon, which too quickly moved aside for the rising sun that trickled through a disheveled curtain, disturbing my planned oversleep session. I opened my eyes and spoke. Guy exists.
I got this figured out.
It wasn’t so much that he existed. It was that he existed. It wasn’t bad, nor was it good. Guy was a repository of cliché; everything he did was predictable to the finest details and I found my curiosity insatiable. Did he do it on purpose? Was it out of his control? Was he aware? Could he do something I couldn’t predict? Long story short: it took many years but Guy finally did surprise.
I’m not so sure anymore.
For most things, early access is flooded with cliché. It isn’t until we become interested and learn and experience the more intricate details when the clichés fall away. You can’t know what you don’t know. Interest has to begin somewhere but there comes a time when assuming you know everything becomes counterproductive and stagnancy follows.
It is a good feeling to know that there are people in this world that don’t do what is expected because it is expected or to do the opposite of expected to instigate a rise out of an audience. A return to honesty in all things is in order. Stop playing games. Live a life of integrity and honest exploration. These are things I need to keep telling myself because sometimes it feels like I have been transported back to childhood. There is a saying: “Only when you lose everything may you see clearly.” I heard this one ages ago and attributed it to anonymous but Chuck Palahniuk has a similar quote. I may not have lost everything, but I have lost a fundamental piece of being: communication.
Communication is a fundamental human need. My inability to communicate complex thoughts and ideas in my new language has stifled parts of me, but at the same time has encouraged the growth of new curiosity. That pure curiosity drives the search to communicate. Just like Guy, the first forays into new language feel trite and cliché. You learn the basics and it feels good but unrealistic because what we all really want is to learn how to express feelings and ideas. Communicating in a new language requires critical thought different from your native tongue. But over time, the new language becomes a part of your being. Here’s to a new challenge!
It will be a long journey. Ganbare! Sisu!