autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Advice from the heart: Speak with meaning, only when necessary

After more than a little bit of a hiatus, another snippet from the “Advice from the heart” series. This time, it’s:

“If you talk too much with little meaning you will make mistakes, therefore speak in moderation, only when necessary.”

This return to the series is somewhat heavy because I choose a moment to return to this in which I am nursing an ache for old moments, passed. This is, I suppose, as it should be; all things do pass. The problem is that I wish this one had not. Naturally, this makes it a pretty good example of the whole “clinging” motif and underscores the reality (to me, anyway) that this is the root of any/all suffering.

Does that mean I have an easier time of letting it go? I wish.

But it does return me to the above quote and my acceptance over time that “speaking only when necessary” is a foundational and critical element in managing relations in life. It is difficult to explain without dredging up details and memories I’d rather not wade in at the moment; so, instead, I will say only that, had I been as attentive to the above “then” as I am “now”, perhaps I wouldn’t be sitting here cradling this ridiculous ache like it can be anything other than a ghost.

The sense of this bit of advice, to me, is that reactionary or thoughtless words cannot help but create situations where unfortunate things are set into being and, once loosed, they cannot be called back or changed.

I suppose I could conjure up any number of excuses for that time of mindlessness, thoughtlessness, and anything but moderation; some of them might even be reasonable to some who read here; humans being what they are, trails and travails being heavy on us all, who hasn’t had times where trying to find what is needed ignores the affect or impact on others? It’s kind of like reaching for a life-saver on stormy sea; you know that the very act of reaching is only going to push it further away, but when all you have are hands, all you know is that it’s moving past you, and, in that moment, you’re drowning and struggling for the next breath, how easy is it to do otherwise? (For me, in that moment, impossible.)

Hardly an excuse, though. I suppose the only “good” thing that can be said for it is that I can look back at it and say with utter sincerity that, had I been able to manage better, I would have. No better an excuse, of course, but it’s all I’ve got, so it’ll have to do.

Actually, on these ever-rarer occasions when I think back on it all, I mostly just feel sad for all the amazing things I knew were there and that I pushed out of range because I couldn’t manage more than panicked struggle for purchase upon something that seemed beautiful to me. That’s really the core of it. Even now. In fact, it’s likely the reason I remember it at all; the reason I still return to it here and there, the reason I still cradle it and indulge in the pretense of possibility in the face of all this time and silence.

You see, it WAS beautiful, and I know beyond all doubt that at least that much of it has not changed, not in all this time; each of those involved are precisely as beautiful as ever they were, if not more so. I know this because that is how it began, back before things got mucked up by all the meaninglessness. This certainty is where the ache lives and from where it tugs so persistently; that this is still so, and that I’m not mindless as I was and that I think back on it and wish it were possible to wash away the memory of such a mess and just begin again… clean slate.

But all I’m doing is demonstrating the truth and wisdom of that quote, aren’t I? Even now, I make the mistake of talking too much with too little meaning and compound the mistake of continuing to operate under the delusion that it is possible to rebirth something that has already been born, lived, and died. Not to mention, of course, that, generally speaking, this is not a pattern that humans tend to engage, let alone succeed in engaging.

So, while this may well qualify as not being “necessary” overall, I suppose it qualifies as an object lesson, me to myself, of how and why this piece of advice from the heart is particularly helpful and why I work so hard these days to keep it at the front of my mind.

After all, the next best thing to cleaning the slate behind you is ensuring the length of it before you remains as free of such things as humanly possible. I may not be able to raise dead things, but I can ensure that I do not conscience such thoughtless slaughter in future.

To be able to say that comfortably is its own balm.

Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum