Monday, September 14, 2015

The Thing is Never the Thing

Have you ever gotten involved in a conversation, only to realize that the conversation itself was meant to serve as a distraction from a larger question?

I think of the infamous Christian discussions about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.  If you're busy discussing the nature of a thing, you will probably fail entirely to question its existence in the first place.

This happens when people make mistakes, too.  Rather than apologizing and moving on, they create drama.  This dramapology is not one of my shortcomings, but I can see it and it is quite ubiquitous.  If we worry about why the e-mail didn't go or was lost or not received, then we don't need to talk about what the e-mail actually said, do we?  A little shit-storm about tangential events can certainly allow us - if we all want - to brush the real thing under the rug.

But then sometimes its serious.  Expressing "I hate you" when what is really meant is "I hate me" and nobody moves toward wholeness.   Worrying about the doctor being unpleasant sure can help us forget that dad is dying.  In both cases, pain is distributed rather than lived.

The problem, I guess with the thing not always being the thing is that we might often be better off if the thing actually was the thing every then and again.

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