When one thing leads to another, you can end up in some interesting places, having conversations with intriguing people, and asking yourself some interesting and intriguing questions.
Which leads me to…
Q: What do you consider to be sins and what do you consider to be virtues?
Some people consider it a sin to phrase a question the way I phrased the one above (and they’d have a problem with this sentence too). They don’t like it when you repeat yourself (they will repeatedly tell you), especially when writing. They consider brevity a virtue (and they will wax lyrical about it for hours).
Q: Are they right or are they wrong?
I both agree and disagree with those some people.
Sometimes I’m one of those some people. In certain circumstances/scenarios I prefer it when others are brief – just cut to the chase, get to the point. I often have a similar reaction to myself – OMG, Ursula, stop introducing the chase/point like a master of ceremonies and let the chase/point get on stage to make their speech!
But at other times I love a long winding road, and appreciate being taken on a ride on one by someone else.
This is a beautiful example of a long winding road and ride of a post – King of States: Gotta Have Some Faith in the Sound – its length, twists and turns, expresses the author’s love of music and singing. It’s a symphony in words, and includes time and space for all the movements (ie. crescendo, allegro, piano, forte, etc). By the end of reading it I felt moved to rise up and give them a standing ovation – Bravo! Brava!
I’m taking a wee detour/tangent which is connected/relevant.
Two days ago I read this post – Sparksfromacombustiblemind: Curiouser and Curiouser – which asked a question about blogging. I replied because I was asked, with emphasis, to share my perspective.
While I love comment-chatting on my blog, and welcome all comments…
Even the ones from trolls because they can be turned into great writing prompts, and sometimes what they’ve said really gets you thinking (nod to my previous post)… although I haven’t had any of that type of comment in awhile (that is not a request to be trolled), and only received them sporadically before (on the posts where the attitude in my writing was provocative, so maybe the trolls felt that I was trolling them).
Long, short, on-topic, off-topic, humorous, serious, etc… I’m sharing myself with you, you’re allowing me to share myself with you by reading my blog/posts, and so please feel free to share yourself with me. Please be warned: I reply to comments, and I am as weird and crazy as I come across in my posts (it’s not an affectation for creative writing purposes).
… I tend to shy away from commenting on the posts/blogs of others because I am shy.
Some people view shyness as a non-deadly sin, or at least that’s how I perceive what they’re saying when they tell me not to be shy. Other people view certain aspects, symptoms, of shyness as a virtue – shy people appear humble, modest… which are considered virtues (to brag about if you have them). But are shy people really humble and modest or just trying to avoid humiliating themselves with their immodesty?
When I say that I’m shy, I mean it (but I’m not going to answer the question I just asked… because I’m shy and frankly other people’s misunderstandings of shyness are a source of amusement now). I may not come across that way on my blog – that’s because I’m on my blog. I used to be cripplingly shy… less so these days (partly because I’m less self-conscious while also being more self conscious). I literally used to break into a sweat when I had to socialise – which only made things worse for me, as being a dripping sweaty mess is embarrassing in public especially when it’s not hot, you know other people find it disgusting, will judge you critically for it, and are most likely creeped out by you and your uncontrollable bodily fluids.
I didn’t tell the author of King of States how much I loved their post. I thought about doing it… then talked myself out of it. The author is a bigwig of sorts on WordPress as she’s a member of the WP team, and used to run parts of the Daily Post (WP’s own blog) before it closed up shop.
Anyway, we’re back from the detour/tangent now…
I shared the link to the King of States’ post with a person I regularly comment-chat with, since I felt that the post expressed my answer to a question they’d asked me the day before that post was published (one thing often leads to another in a synchronistic manner).
Their Q: I admire your thoughts and your ability to put them into words I wonder if you know what a blessing that is?
Part of my A: Do I know what a blessing it is? To finally be released from being trapped/imprisoned in the bowels of the Chateau D’If, feeling as though I was dying every day and yet still alive, unable to speak, unheard when I did speak, misunderstood when I was heard. Every time I tried to escape, I’d be punished and I’d crawl back into my cell for safety and sanctuary and yet that safety and sanctuary was torture.
In reply to my answer to their question, the person I was comment-chatting with said: “One very important thing that is prevalent in all your replies not only to me but to others too is that you’re never critical to the respondent? Always supportive I like that immensely.” – I’m not sure if the ‘?’ after ‘respondent’ is a typo or not, but it’s a good typo if it is.
Q: Am I really never critical? I am really always supportive?
Some of my earlier replies to comments, and comment-chats – which are all still there somewhere in the comment threads of my earlier posts on this blog – are proof of just what a critical non-supportive ass I have been and therefore can be.
My mother was super-critical. She saw her ‘critiques’ as virtuous, but if anyone else did to her what she did to them and others… it was a sin for which they shall never be forgiven, and would be reminded of constantly (but don’t do that to her unless you want a ten hour lecture on how it’s okay for her to do but not okay for you to do it – she’s a saint, you’re a sinner, that’s the final verdict!). My mother was an opera singer (amongst other things). She regularly complained that others had silenced her beautiful voice. She also regularly made statements like: “Kiri Te Kanawa can’t sing!”. She also regularly told me that I sounded like a mosquito when I sang along to nursery rhymes and children’s songs. It took me a long and winding road of time to realise that her critical observations were flawed and faulty due to massive amounts of envy and fear… by the time I realised that I had inadvertently absorbed the tendency to be critical when envious, afraid, and feeling shit about myself.
I am better at being less critical and more supportive now partly because I’ve been a critical non-supportive ass and I hated being that way. I’ve chilled a lot and it’s an authentic chill – it’s been tested, it withstood the tests.
Another quick detour/tangent… someone whose blog I follow has recently been doing a series on the concept of authenticity. I’m not linking to their blog/posts because I’m about to say something critical and non-supportive, but it will be me being authentic.
Some people view authenticity as a virtue. I agree, it’s pretty awesome when someone has the guts to be authentically themselves, warts and all, and feels safe enough to be that way around you. But some people, like this blogger, add terms and conditions to their concept of authenticity (those terms and conditions mainly apply to others and not to themselves) which, when added up, kind of come across as anti-authenticity.
For example they say things along the lines of: If you’re authentically a jerk, an ass, an a-hole… you shouldn’t be that, be something, someone else instead. Replace your authentic self with a more likeable to others authentic self. Authenticity is attractive – but not that kind of authenticity!
What!? You want authenticity from people but you don’t want authenticity from people? I’m confused… about what you’ve decided to think authenticity is.
So if someone farts in your company because they had to fart… is that authenticity to you? It is to me. While it may be stinky sometimes, and I may have to authentically express just how stinky my olfactory sense found it to be… I’m proud of me and you for being that authentic with each other. And if I fart in someone else’s company when I have to fart = that’s me being authentic. Feel free to let me know how authentically disgusted you are… but if you want authenticity in a relationship, and have stated that (perhaps repeatedly), don’t tell me to not do that around you unless you want me to wonder if you’re full of shit – farts don’t only come out of the derriere.
That may seem like a silly example (because it is), but it’s the small things which support or don’t support the bigger ideas and ideals we have and hold (and maybe use to hold people hostage).
I’m waiting to see if this blogger notices that they’re painting themselves into a very human corner with the terms and conditions they’re adding to their authenticity ideal.
They want to be authentic, a great goal, but… to really do that you have to allow others to be authentic, and you may not like that.
I have a friend who still worries about being in a bad mood around me when they’re in a bad mood. I think I’m slowly getting through to them that I’m okay with them being in a bad mood if they’re in a bad mood. I can handle it so they can just be the mood they’re in. It’s far easier to navigate a bad mood when it’s being a bad mood, and far harder to navigate a bad mood when it’s pretending not to be a bad mood… especially when it’s for my sake. My sake would like for you to stop doing that. If I’m the reason for the bad mood, I can deal with it, tell me your truth (these days I can accept it graciously and not react the way you feared I’d react which is why you’re stuck on this merry-go-round, you’re trying to control other people’s reactions to you – tip: they have to control those for themselves). But if pretending you’re not in a bad mood when you’re in one is what you’re gonna do, what you need to do for yourself, then my sake needs to just burn all terms and conditions, and chill, relax by the fire.
And now for a tangent/detour from a tangent/detour…
Some people rate truth/truthfulness as a most wanted virtue, and lies as a most deadly sin. Most humans would agree that truth is good and lies are bad. But… the truth is there’s usually a ‘but’ to just about everything (and everyone). Those some people may sometimes be the same ones who punish you for telling them your truth – that’s not what they wanted to hear when they said they wanted the truth! They may even accuse you of lying because they don’t like your truth. They want the truth, just not your authentic truth. They want the truth, the one which supports their personal narrative about themselves… and if you think they’re lying to themselves don’t tell them that truth unless you’re kind of into those consequences.
The moment a concept enters the humaniverse… it’s going to get complicated, convoluted, and mess you and everyone else up.
“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Reeling it in now, all tangents/detours are now merging… with what?
Firstly I’d like to thank the person I’ve been comment-chatting with whose comment-chat I used in part in this post.
Q: Do you know why I did that?
Because I asked you in return – “Do you know how blessed you are to be yourself, to think the way you think, and do things the way you do them?” – and I wanted to show you in one of my posts how your communication style, which I admire, inspires the very thing you ‘envy’ (your words) about me.
I take what you say to me, think about it, and then write a post about the thoughts what you said inspires.
Another point – if you ‘envy’ me… consider this – there are people who ‘envy’ you too. How do you like them apples? What are you going to do with them apples?
None of us can escape feeling envy and being envied, even when we’re certain that we couldn’t possibly experience such a thing either way. It’s a very human thing… if you’re human it’ll be a thing for you, denying it or not noticing it doesn’t make it a non-thing for you.
Envy is a deadly sin according to a lot of people, some of whom may have died from envy (the autopsy report is still pending)… but it has a flip side which can be good – admiration.
Q: What is admiration?
Is it a sin or a virtue. Is it good, is it bad, is it memorex?
Memorex!?! Ah, the shit that finds its way into the mind and just kind of stays there.
This post was also inspired by others with whom I’ve comment-chatted with recently. As well as those whose blog posts on WP and elsewhere I’ve read.
The hints of your part in this post are there in plain sight – I know what most of them are (some may be sub-conscious and may take awhile for me to notice), do you?
Wrapping things up now and handing it over to you, but before I do that, one more question…
I love asking questions. I was made to view that tendency of mine as a sin, much later on I saw it as a possible virtue which others painted as a sin because of how it affected them (and their control over me), then I ended up viewing it as a virtue in myself and others, and sort of saw those who didn’t ask questions as sinners (except I’m not that fond of the ‘sinner’ concept. I am definitely no ‘saint’ and don’t want to be one, especially not one of those who needs others to be sinners for me to be a saint). Lately I’ve been questioning my asking of questions… do I really need to ask questions?
That’s not my one more question. This is:
Q: What has made you feel/think that you’re a better person (not better than others, or better than yourself, but just feel and think better, in a way that is healing and healthy for you) because of the part they’ve played in your personal evolution, your sins or your virtues?
Also, just one more wafer thin question… if you’re a WP blogger who is trying out the Gutenberg editor – why does the draft ‘save’ function look like a poo emoji? Is it because the WP crew think our posts are shit? Or is it just me who perceives it that way?
Over to you…