I was sitting here this morning trying to decide what M-feeling word I should use for today. Puzzled, I ask Drollery his opinion of my list printed off from a website. I was very thankful he didn’t choose mean, malevolent, or something along those lines. I figured he’d go for moody, mixed-up, or melodramatic. I was surprised when he said MISUNDERSTOOD.
I shouldn’t have been though. We’ve had many conversations over the years about my feeling that way. I’m often frustrated because I can’t make him understand what I mean when we’re talking, or I can’t find the right words to put down on paper to convey my feelings when I’m writing. In fact, I probably feel MISUNDERSTOOD when I write more than anything.
The last time we had that conversation I told him to imagine that he was blind and had to wear winter-weight gloves all the time. He would be able to feel objects through the gloves, but not the actual what-ever-it-is. His senses would be muted. Plastic, metal, hot, cold… No doubt he couldn’t articulate clearly what he was touching. He finally seemed to get it.
So when I write I often feel as if I’m trying to describe something with gloves on. What I mean isn’t clear — not to myself nor to those reading what I write. Being MISUNDERSTOOD, then, is one of the most aggravating and disheartening feelings in the world to me because words are my currency and I depend on them so much — not just in writing, but in verbal communication.
I think that’s part of the reason I decided to start a blog. Practice! Practice at describing what I feel, what I think, what I want, what I need, my impressions of other people and situations… I’ve gotten better at it over the last 18 months. Better at the fine art of articulation. It must be working because I don’t feel as misunderstood as I used to. (But I still suck at writing poetry!)