Saturday, March 15, 2014

Communication is Tough

I'm sitting here at the keyboard trying to figure out what I'm going to say, while Moonpi my dog paces around my chair attempting to communicate with me. Sometimes it can be pretty obvious what he's trying to tell me. For example, he has a pretty specific noise he makes that says, “I've lost my rawhide under the sofa. Get up and help me get it.” And after lunch, when he thinks it is time for a walk, there's not much chance of misunderstanding what he's trying to say.

For someone incapable of using words, he's able to communicate quite a bit. I say “using” words very specifically, since he understands a fairly large number. His reaction to the phase “check the mail” can be scary for the uninitiated. And he certainly knows what “stinky toy” means.

But he can't use words himself. He has to show people what it is he's wanting. Last year we were visiting my sister and Moonpi had to be left with her for a bit. Well, it was the time of the morning when he usually got his “dental bone”. So he went over to the table where his treats were being kept and looked at the dental bones. My sister gave him a cookie. Well of course he ate it, just to be polite you understand, but then he went back, rolled his eyes at her and made her understand that wasn't the right treat.

Now you'd think that being able to use words would make communication easier. But that's not necessarily the case. Last time when I wrote my article I had something that I wanted to communicate, but a large number of intelligent people misunderstood me.

I was explaining about how the ten minute play I wrote was not going to be how I would have done it. How I had envisioned it. And somehow some people came away from that with the impression that I was upset about that. Definitely not. Why would I want to see it the way I had envisioned it. I'd already seen that version. True, that was seen only in my head, but I knew what I thought it was like.

So I was looking forward to seeing what someone else though it should be like.

Recently I read a post on a blog I check regularly that explained how people can react rigidly or plastically (meaning flexible) to events in the world. If someone reacts rigidly to something that goes against their preconceived notions it can generate anger and frustration. On the other hand someone that reacts plastically to events that are outside what they expect, can actually be amused and happy when something like that happens.

And when it comes to my writing, I think I'm pretty plastic in my reactions to other people's reading of what I said. So when someone reads one of my poems and sees an analogy or metaphor I hadn't intended, I'm happy, and I look to see it there myself. The same with plays and my other writing. I'm always fascinated by what message people get out of these short articles here in the Loop. Sometimes it's exactly what I meant to say. But even when there is a misunderstanding, I get a chance to learn more about my writing.

 And that's awesome. But it seems I should be going. Moonpi has something he wants me to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment