'cause it's breaking...

"Nunc scio quit sit amor."
["Now I know what love is." Virgil]

My sad, as you might have guessed, pertains to a relationship--or rather the lack of one. Well, relationships that exist between other people, and one that is apparently missing between me and someone else.

“I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don't.”
[W. Somerset Maugham]

I have long held that one should not ask a question that one does not want to know the answer to. It is a truism, of course, but there is a deeper meaning. It came to me at the feet of a particularly good teacher in law school. A good attorney never opens a line of questioning about which he is not certain of the outcome. Court is no place for improvisation that requires the participation of unpredictable amateurs. The same is true in relationships; if I know that hearing something from the mouth of a friend will hurt me (e.g. the answer to "is this color good on me?"), then I should not ask the question.

“I felt like poisoning a monk.”
[Umberto Eco]

I wonder, though, if it's possible to be too careful. To avoid too many questions in an effort to forgo too much unpredictability and potential pain. Because really, some of that uncertainty and harm will come in spite of any preparation, and then any efforts taken to prevent the injury will not only be wasted but will be ironically pathetic, too.

If I sound like I know this from experience--I do. Despite my knack for shutting up and not asking the hard questions so that the hard answers don't get me, sometimes I manage to get hit anyway.

"Whatever is in the heart will come up to the tongue."
[Persian proverb]

I didn't say what I could have said, I didn't ask what I should have asked, and then I admitted far more than I should have revealed.

"Every truth is not good to be told."
[Italian proverb]

What do I have to show for it? Little or no opportunity to state my case because the perfect opportunity has passed; no right to argue with something that I should have known years ago but didn't know because I didn't ask; and a profound sense of emptiness where there used to be...something, thanks to having told too much truth, in the wrong way, too late.

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."
[Anaïs Nin]

I thought it wasn't what it was. I thought it was both more (much more) and also far more simple. I have a remarkable ability to attach meaning to nothingness and to find clarity in nightmares.

"My dancing days are done."
[Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, in Scornful Lady (act V, scene 3)]

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry it is not simpler. And I'm sorry you were lied to. And of course, I am very sorry about the pain.