The lost art of really listening to people. The secret to it is we communicated with our bodies. Open stances or closed stances, fiddling and looking away, shifting glances, wild gestures or uncomfortable arm crossing. The saying “Actions speak louder than words” is a lot of the time true. That’s why reading body language helps tell us when we are being lied to or how people really feel versus what they are saying. A good listener can see these things. A true listener can start to understand someone better by these things. Seeing how a person responds physically can communicate their insecurities and their confidences, the things they like and dislike, and also whether they are extremely selfish or are relaxed and loving. Someone who really listens can see right through people.
Then sometimes silence (or the lack of action) speaks louder than words. Whether that inaction is someone saying one thing and doing another or being completely passive and not communicating at all.
That’s why I wrote a song called “Silence is death”
I wrote this because the lack of communication is a huge scream in itself. Crying silently, suffering in silence, sighing silently. It’s all a way of showing a burden, communicating pain or indifference. Especially indifference. “The silent treatment” is a way to communicate my pain that doesn’t need words to describe it. Everyone knows what it is. Everyone understands why. It’s because sometimes the amount of weight I’m carrying inside me is boiling under my skin and its turning my eyes red and soggy, its breaking me so much I can’t even speak. Sometimes the silence is necessary because I’m screaming so loud on the inside I can’t bear to speak anymore. Or maybe its the opposite, maybe it’s because the world and people around me are so loud I can’t handle the noise anymore so I stopped trying and shut down. Maybe I’m too tired of this sick mess to speak anymore. Words fall short of the things I want to say.
This is why people say things like this:
“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.”
― Andrew Harvey
Sometimes its really hard to be bursting at the seems like this always. I take a chill pill and reseed into a happy numbness, which sometimes solves the problems and I start to see that I don’t have to hate and hurt from all the noise around me and inside me. I can let it out and in and breathe and be one with it or separate my self from it. Nothing is permanent. But I do wear my anger on my heart and not on my skin. I wear it on the inside where it festers and starts to boil again and I start my silence.
There’s a difference between serenity and being numb.
Communicating like this isn’t all there is though. Sometimes small talk and social interaction in the trivial pursuits can be a fueling ground for socialites or a draining all-consuming pit of terror. Sometimes I love to gossip and joke with my friends, and other times it tears me apart inside to hear idiotic and pointless words. I get so upset I give a silent tantrum and stop speaking to people.
‘Cause I’ve seen more spine on jellyfish
I’ve seen more guts in eleven year old kids
Have another drink and drive yourself home
I hope there’s ice on all the roads
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt
And again when your head goes through the windshield
Is that what you call tact?
You’re as subtle as a brick
In the small of my back
So let’s end this call and end this conversation
The Happiness of meeting again after a long time
There are lots of ways that people can be separated. Whether “separate” meaning ending of a relationship, friendship, or bond; or meaning separated by distance and time rather than breaking off that relationship, being apart is painful.
I’ve had friends all over the world, some which I’ve been able to see yearly or more and others that I have never seen.
I have friends I’ve grown up with that became the closest and most important people in my life graduate high school and go far away for college. It hurt to be apart from them. It hurt to lose the physical connection we had and to lose the fulfilling meetings we used to have regularly. But we had retrouvailles when we were finally able to get together during summer, winter, and spring breaks.
Separation changes relationships and changes people. Communication and visiting become more special, but also more difficult. Talking to one another can become a chore, or become monotonous because the same questions are always being asked. “How was your day?” “What did you do?” “How is everyone back home?” “How is school?” “What are your classes like?”‘How was work?”. After a while it feels like there is nothing more to say over the phone or via text.
It feels like the distance between the two of you is prying a wedge between you even more than you thought it would.
It’s costly on everyone in many ways. Seeing friends means gas money, spending money for activities, and food. Seeing friends means a plane ticket home or to them, expenses of travel and the like.
Being apart from friends means you might make new friends and lose those friends, or the flux of new friends is whittled down to the ones that you actually like talking to you, rather than the ones which are just convenient to converse with. The difference between a study buddy and a real pal. It costs time and effort to be happy, to stay happy, and to preserve the happiness that you have with those you love most in the world.
The hardest part about these expenses, is making sure they are worth it, and remain worth it.
Something being worth your time is far from something which is just convenient. Although, convenience does assist in keeping things that are worth your time.
Convenience is having a neighbor that you can barrow things from politely and they have the same relationship with you, but you wouldn’t invite them over for a heart-to-heart about your dying uncle and the struggles of cancer in your family.
The kind of person you invite over for that serious conversation who thinks you are worth their time is the friend that maybe it isn’t all that convenient for them to see you. That’s why it is special when you see each other, because when you do, both of you have planned that chat, that cup of tea or coffee, that special meeting spot, or the favorite seats in your living room. The date’s been on your calendar and it has been something the two of you texted about for weeks. Making sure both could be there around the same time, prepared and with lots to say.
But also with this best friend, you don’t always need something to talk about. Silence can convey what you need it to as well. Because sometimes all you can say is “I’m so glad you are here,” with me because I need you and you are worth it and I love being with you because I love you.
And you know they are thinking the same thing and don’t need to say it.
Harmony in the those moments of retrouvailles.
arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention.“an interesting debate”2. A term used meaninglessly and copiously by those with nothing better to say.
synonyms: absorbing, engrossing, fascinating, riveting, gripping, compelling,compulsive, captivating, engaging, enthralling;
So, now that we know what it means, what does it really mean?
To me, an interesting person is someone who rarely bores me, even if what they are talking about is on the uses of tylenol. What my current dilemma entails is a girl whom with all circumstances and experiences should be the most interesting human on the planet, but she is one of those humans I have a difficult time speaking too without a group. Our one-on –one communication I would think would be amazing, since both of us have similar interests in langue arts, linguistics, history, and religion; it seems though, that she and I cannot hold a conversation with each other in an empty room for more than a half hour without external input.
Secondly, I usually assume that people who are well educated, well traveled (even if thats just in the united states, Canada, and Mexico) should by default, according to their money spending track records, an interesting and well rounded human being. These people should be eye catching, have good stories(even if these stories are fairy tales, making it all the more interesting), be inspiring, and be ready for adventure.
Unfortunately, I can’t figure out why this woman bores me to literal tears. Ultimately, I’m too hopeful and tend to lend my friends one too many chances to surprise me with their intellect and make me laugh with good(or terribly bad) stories, or even better: make our own stories; but damned if they don’t because I am drained by these individuals. I give all my funny(or sad) stories to them, I share or invent adventures for them, I invite them to raving mad gatherings and try to inspire some spontaneity within them, but I’m slowly but surely giving up.
ART. Art is another thing — when individuals can appear to appreciate all the artistic things of the world, from fashion to music and dance but are depraved of having creativity it brings me to my knees with disappointment. Sure, we need non labeled artists to be inspired by labeled artists, but all humans should have true creativity, they should be able to more than clone paintings and crafts.
Contrary to some people’s belief, creativity isn’t all spontaneity and divine or other inspiration, it is cultured by loving adults who teach young children to let their brains be free, let their eyes wonder, hands move over material, and feet jump at every chance, or voice squeak when their soul sings through their body.
Back on track, I can’t grasp the strangeness of humanity’s ways. I’m baffled that chemistry is what connects us but, but philosophy and politics is what separates us.
I need to think about this more.
My first time taking the ACT I was a sophomore in highschool, and its been three years since then and I believe whole heartedly I was a smarter person at that time because of four classes:
1. Latin 2 (Honors)
2. Classical and Medieval History (Gordon College Professor who is super awesome)
3. Classical Literature and Writing (Honors, taught by an ordained bishop, who also consequently is the smartest person I have ever met)
4. Geometry (With my mother who is an Engineer and it rocked)
These foundations are classical Greek and Roman foundations of education (plus add some philosophy and cultural anthropology for unbiased analysis reasons) and this is what I call the perfect lessons to prepare you to write a three page essay in under thirty minutes with organized ideas AND quotes from the literature/historical manuscripts that should be burned into your brain forever.
According to the the syllabus of my Classical Lit and History courses, I now can have a conversation with a student who has a masters in Classics or Literature very well.
I used a quote from Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (Renaissance, Italian scholar and philosopher) for my essay on the ACT that I tied in to the importance of learning and intellectuality. (…this post is so entirely opposite from my last blog post my goodness.) This quote talked about the different parts of humanity and what they make a person appear like.
“When man came into life, the father endowed him with all kinds of seeds and with the germs of every way of life. Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow and bear fruits in him. If these are vegetative, he will be like a plant; if they are sensual, he will become like the beasts; of they are rational he will become like a heavenly creature; if intellectual, he will be an angel and a song of God…. ” (The Oration on the Dignity of Man 1486)
So, to the ACT essay graders, I think I looked pretty damn hot 😉
Along with using quotes and being able to accurately tie them into the random subject you were given, you need to have a good idea of how you like to start your essays, or how to get yourself into a good writing mindset.
I usually try to use the page they give you to plan out your essay to write the first paragraph in. It gives you some idea of how you want to format the lay out, but not the entire thing, more the sound and rhythm of your essay. Colloquial or very formal, your essay should reflect how well you can store knowledge and apply it correctly and nicely to anything they throw at you. And they will throw you some strange questions that seem pretty stupid at first glance.
I’ve taken standardized tests for 3 years with essays tacked on them and it gets old really fast. Also, if you are taking a CLEP exam, remember to CITE the information they give you properly, it’s not just there for you to stare at contemplatively.
Another thing, use AWESOME vocabulary and use it in a tasteful way,
“Swivel chairs are too ridiculous for rambunctious kids who let their glee overwhelm them, tenaciousness can often upset pedantic teachers.” (This sentence is gross but do you understand how silly it sounds to have this many unusual vocabulary words in one sentence?)
You should use them like THIS:
“Good adjectives and adverbs should be used ubiquitously.” (This is a fair example because colloquial and gray words like “good” are not very useful descriptors(adjectives); they are subjective to someone’s biased point of view of “good”, but words such as “unseemly” (with other descriptions of WHY it is unseemly) is an approved adjective.)
If by any chance you are able to use a semicolon properly in a paragraph you will probably get good points. The quote I just used above is a good example of semicolons.
” Colons (:) are used in sentences to introduce that something follows like a quotation, example or a list. Semicolons (;) are used to join two independent clauses, to separate main clauses joined by a conjunctive adverb or to separate items in a list that already uses commas. “(Your Dictionary.com)
And some examples:
“With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it is a matter of feeling. But I must say I have a great respect for the semi-colon; it’s a useful little chap.”
“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”
I also HIGHLY recommend keeping a journal entry maybe not once a day, but at least twice a week to keep your mind flowing easily in writing; even if it is total nonsensical babble about school and drama it will help.
In Virginia Wolf’s To The Light House, which I didn’t really care for, was a character named Mr. Ramsey. He infuriated me more than any of the other characters. Though there was one thing about him that fascinated me. He had this idea that the average man only reached a certain point which he called K, (meaning a certain level of intelligence, success, wisdom, wealth etc.) but he was feeling like if a man could even just surpass Q it would be an accomplishment. Mr. Ramsey wanted desperately to get to R though. (why R we don’t know why..) but at this point in the book I was finally paying attention… Mr. Ramsey wanted to be a “better” man. Better in his eyes was probably a man who was more successful in work, made more money than the majority, had a perfect relationship with his wife, had a wife who took perfect care of the children (of whom he did not wish to deal with). I didn’t think much of this while reading it since I was barely 14 and rather confused about everything at the time… looking back on it though, I notice it is very relevant in many people lives. Although they don’t specifically say; “If only I were to get to R…” and ponder the predicament that they were involved in and how to maneuver out of it in order to get what they want. Most people just say “I want to get a good job and get by.” or some aspire higher and say: “I dream of becoming the CEO of Microsoft.” or “I want to be the new Justin.” or “I want to be President.” (That in some people’s book would be getting to Z) People don’t give it a letter, they say the place they fantasize about.)
I havent read this book since 9th grade, 4 ish years ago but I remembered it reading my Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft 7th Edition book by Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuck-French. (Mr.Teacher is very amused at the last name of Elizabeth and her husband who helped write the 8th edition for some odd reason. I don’t find it too amusing, more silly and stupid. The whole “Stucky-French” thing is simply a combination of the couple last names which are both generic and ridiculous, sorry to be obnoxious…#sorrynotsorry) It was in the chapter about crafting your words in a sentence to find detail but not to tell, but to show the detail of characters with their surroundings and such. It was probably my favorite part of the reading so far since we finally got to something interesting instead of just reteaching ourselves discipline. Which as you all can identify and testify that I have done by keeping up my blog for this long…. it is insane I must admit having this much commitment to a thing.
…..I have just had an epiphany about why I can’t commit in relationships. I am much too committed to my arts and expressions than to give any emotional and physical time to one person for the rest of my high school experience, which surprisingly is not turning out too horridly. (stress of the “not too”.)
Away from those things… I hope I get to T. Because T is much better than R. R is silly compared to the majestic T. X would be a miracle.
Just you wait T. Just you wait.
I have to say, I’m a very good observer, but my mother is too sneaky for me. How does that laundry make it from the basement to the second floor so quickly on the weekends? Why is it that all the rooms down stairs stay organized? Mom is the explanation to the household miracles. I call her Marmmy in public so not to confuse her with the other multitude of mothers out there, cause she’s special. And I know, I know, its not mother’s day.. and its not even my Marmmy’s birthday, I just was thinking about her awesomeness.
As promised when I was in New York City, Clay, I will write about you. I might beautify a little, but that’s what all writers do even if they don’t admit it.
Clay, always sitting behind his mahogany desk between the black columns, a small lap top in front of him and to his right a phone and note book with spaced scribbles in every corner. Though in the dimly lit club like dark 70’s hotel lobby, you could make out his form with the small spotlight that was cast above his workspace.
New York is not what it looks like on Glee, or those penthouse shows. It looks like a dirty city with a lot people and a lot of very tall buildings that block out the sun, stars, and moon. The buildings and people don’t sleep so noise even in the depth of night and early morning is present. It isn’t a bad place though, just not the place I could survive in long. I am not sick and I suspect the city was a contributor to my illness.
Tomorrow is another school day, laboring over my oral presentation for my genetics project. I also must have a full draft of my persuasion letter for British Literature, I’m thinking I might have to write three to make up for my lack of focus.
This has been a long blog, but necessary to cover the ground I have been heedlessly trampling for two months.
I’ve been listening to Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack. I really am in love with Andrew Lloyd Webber. He’s a wonderful composer.
I’m reading Frankenstein. Its very…ah well psychotic. At least the main character is over working himself, and then not eating, and the lack of nutrients is making him psychotic and I think he hallucinates a lot… but this is probably not the conclusion literally professor’s give. This is my realization and summery of the sad and demented mind of Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
Here is a story I wrote for my British Literature class; one of the most difficult class offered too 10th graders, its college prep or extreme honors to a private school.
THE SCULPTED ANGEL a memoir
He was an illusion of an angel, a stone white angel, but no less a divine and perfect being. With the aura and features an angel might provide. He was laying on the sand with scattered shells all around him. He wasn’t wearing much, only a small knitted cloth tied around his hips. His body was bent awkwardly atop a mound of sand and rock, making his legs and head lower than his elevated middle. His hair spread out in long tendrils like water flowing from a spring. It stretched across his left hand and arm, thrown back near his head. The other arm was also thrown back, its pearly underbelly laid crooked next to his face. His ribs stuck out tightly through his skin. I looked even closer and saw shimmering pearls stuck to his body, and others trapped in his small cloth.
I bent over him, keeping my hands clenched at my sides. No touching, I thought. He wasn’t breathing, nor were his eyes flickering under his eye lids. His lips were slightly blue and very still. His chest appeared stony and granite like. He was more beautiful than any man I had ever seen.
There was nothing I could do; he was dead, frozen in lifelessness. I wanted to stroke his long hair, fix his body so it wasn’t broken on the land he was washed up on. The ocean had killed him. The striking beauty of his appearance had remained with his body, unlike his soul and mind, which abandoned the beating of his heart.
Maybe he was too beautiful. Did God take his life for a better use, or was he subjected to death so I could see him? Was this a dream?
I stepped back, out of my dream, leaving the roaring ocean, the sand, the pearls, and the image of my love behind. The lighting was good in the museum, making it so there were no shadows. I looked down at the milky white sculpture of the Dead Pearl Diver, and immediately felt myself wanting to return to the world where I was sitting on the sand next to his broken form. I was here though, next to his sculpture, not on a beach. I was in a small museum in Portland, Maine, gazing down at a rock, the dead and soulless form of my love.
I reached out to stroke his face as my mind was going back to the beach. I turned my fingers to my palms when I awakened to the reality that he was not animated. I took a meaningless picture that would never capture his true beauty. The spectacular carving of every smooth and sheen centimeter of him was perfect. At that moment, I decided that he was my dream. A dream I could always return to, where he was magnificently poised and arched over the rock hard sand of my imagined beach. He would lie forever next to the ocean that took his life and inspired mine.
I could hardly pull myself away from his side. My brother and mother moved me to continue on to other things in the museum. All I wanted was to look at him, The Dead Pearl Diver, the man of my dreams.
I just need to write about Zombies for a moment. I’m wearing my “I heart Zombies” rubber bracelet that my cats like to chew. I also have another rubber bracelet that says “Zombies” and is neon green and glows vibrantly in the dark.
OH~ also my friend posted some strange thing on her wall on Facebook that I just saw, and it said: “Tim flew, Alien abduction?”
I just needed to talk about both Aliens and Zombies in the same post again. I’m thinking about putting them into every post and maybe drawing conclusions with them. They could be crucial to this blog!