Three Questions… Three Wounds…

mad quiet


The Daily Post asks in their Trick Questions prompt- A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece – about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?

Not that such a scenario would ever happen… but our minds are full of scenarios which never happen.


Sometimes those scenarios are more real to us than what is real, because within them we can let our imagination roam free and explore things… all sorts of things, which may help us in some way. To know ourselves better perhaps.


There are three questions which, when people ask them of me, are ones I wish they would not ask… and hope someone doesn’t ask.


1 – What are you thinking?


2- What are you feeling?


3 – What do you want?


They are the sort of question which I could never answer in a way which would satisfy the person asking them.


My most used reply to such questions is – nothing.


Or something which I sense will fill whatever need the person asking the question had, which is why they asked… whether they really want my answer is always a question I have when I am asked this sort of question or any other question.


It’s always tricky… being human is tricky… being with other humans is tricky.


One song always seems to surface in these moments when I am asked something for which I may not have an answer, or a suitable answer for the querent. A song which is a part of the soundtrack of my mind, of my life.


Llego Con Tres Heridas – I Come with Three Wounds. That of love, that of life, that of death.


A song written by Miguel Hernandez and sung most poignantly by Joan Baez.




There are some things… we just can’t answer. Can’t explain. Can’t speak about.


They just are… and so are we.









  1. Very moving. I used to try hard to explain what i felt, thought and wanted but I realize it’s my right too not to talk about it, especially as I have been misunderstood most of the times.I think keeping thoughts and feeling to oneself is also a matter of healthy boundaries. I love the song, it reminds me of Lhasa de Sela, sheer poetry.


    • Thank you 🙂

      Much of it depends on the situation, and the person asking the question and how and when the question is asked. The context of the question makes all the difference to the answer.

      Some people use those sort of questions as a prelude to them talking about themselves, similar to asking you – How are you? – and then launching into how they are. In those cases you know that they don’t really want to hear your answer, especially if it’s long, because they have something pressing which they need to express. Something is fresh in their minds. Their question is informative rather than seeking information. It sets the scene – What are you feeling? means they’re going to discuss their feelings. What are you thinking? means they’re going to discuss ideas they have been considering. What do you want? means they’re going to discuss their hopes, dreams and ambitions.

      I don’t mind the questions so much in that kind of a situation because I know I don’t have to explain anything about myself, I don’t have to take the abstract inside and give it form, translate it. Also when I’m with other people I tend to focus my attention on them and switch myself off so I can really hear what they are expressing. Switching myself back on takes a while, I’m an old computer 😉

      I do ask those questions of others, particularly when they come to me for advice or to talk about something they are trying to figure out because I don’t have the answers they need, they have the answers they need. People often override their own wisdom, doubting themselves, trying to do what others think is correct or right. I like to redirect people back to their own self-knowing. So when someone asks me – What should I do? – I tend to ask – What do you want to do? What do you really think, feel, want.

      In an interview scenario like the one in the writing prompt, with me as an interviewee… I’d be a terrible interviewee because I’d be too intrigued by the interviewer and I’d want to interview them instead. I know myself, my life, my answers, so I’d mostly find that side of the interview boring, unless a new perspective came up, unless a question I had never thought of asking was asked. I like a challenge, something which puts me on the spot and sets the cogs and gears whirring. But what I feel, think, want… it’s a bit like trying to pinpoint a spice or herb in a complex sauce.

      The world and all of us in it, we move very quickly, some things need time which most of us don’t have. There are those moments though when you are with someone who has taken the time to get to know you and you know them for the same reason, when those sort of questions come from them… it’s very different. They know your language and rhythms, you know theirs, and they probably already know your answer, they just want you to voice it and see where things go from there.

      I agree, some things, they belong to us and us alone. Our silence is a boundary which says – this is private. If we choose to answer or express ourselves, it may be through other ways than in a conversation 🙂


  2. Wonderfully said. “Nothing.” Those questions peeve me as well, which is ridiculous when they are asked. People expect you to come up with a creative and deep answer. However, you’re simple and vague response says so much more.


    • Thank you 🙂

      Those who know us, just know us… as we know them. They ask very different sorts of questions, and we know they ask because they want to know and listen to the answer, and because our answer often part of the flow of a very different kind of nourishing conversation.

      Those who don’t know us (and don’t bother to know us) ask questions without thinking about the questions (other than perhaps from their own need to answer them which is why they may be asking them) or listening to the answers. Nothing is all they hear, so nothing may as well be the answer.

      Although occasionally, when in a mischievous mood… it’s fun to flummox.


  3. 🙂 Your post reminded me of this:

    “I am going to pose a question,” King Milinda said to Venerable Nagasena. “Can you answer?”
    Nagasena said, “Please ask your question.”
    The king said, “I have already asked.”
    Nagasena said, “I have already answered.”
    The king said, “What did you answer?”
    Nagasena said, “What did you ask?”
    The king said, “I asked nothing.”
    Nagasena said, “I answered nothing.”

    I sometimes asked people: “Which question would you have liked to be asked in your life but notbody has asked so far?” When they turn it around and ask me I answer: exactly this question. It is not about answering, it is about being asked… The levels of communication have always fascinated me. Talk. Metalevels. Paradoxes of talk like nothing is an answer… and being silent can be very loud at times…


    • Thank you 🙂

      I love that!!! I adore Zen and Sufi and the like stories which are designed to impart cryptic wisdom – as in it’s there if you can see and find it. Beautiful!


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