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“Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about.”
Saskya Pandita

It has been proven, once again, that no matter how much you give people what they ask for, Gareth is never satisfied. This time the young curmudgeon is taking me to task for being too talkative. And at the same time for not being talkative enough.

Which is not the contradiction it appears to be.

If you think he’s right to be doing so, well then the fecker has allies and that’ll mean more people to shoot.

Or not.

He could be right you see. That’s the trouble with him. So often he tends to be right. Oh not that often, but just often enough to worry you.

And I don’t want to go around killing needlessly.

What he means, his point if you will, the needle threaded through the heart of a delicate issue, is that in the written word, online, on MSN, by electronic means, in which there is a veil between the participants, I tend to be a lively bouncy type. I share a lot more, I talk more freely, I enjoy my word plays and my puns and there is a vibrant air of much frivolity.

Offline, by the medium of voice, using things like skype or in personam, I tend to be more toned down. The blue jokes disappear, the word play tones down, the dance of words tones down, until as has been mentioned by others, words seem to fade away. I become clothed in propriety. In fact, I might, if I dared, give Propriety himself a few general pointers on taciturn behavior.

Why this is strange, and he is right to comment, is that this off course happens with the same person. Even with the same person at the receiving end, my behavior changes radically. Of course it’s the removal of the safety barrier, the net below my flying verbal trapeze, that freezes my sharpened tongue in its sheath, but that doesn’t mean I know what to do about it.

I’m not a chatty person naturally. I know what a chatty person is, and that many spoken words, that constant torrent of information, that flow of inane detail; I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t have the interest in unleashing that torrent of words on another. I couldn’t fathom that a person could be that interested in me. Or that I would have or want a life of such drama.

It’s the way I am. For better or for worse. And some time it has its uses. I generally avoid getting my foot stuck in my mouth, because I avoid saying and avoiding saying avoids saying those things that shouldn’t be said. That was a complex sentence even for me to follow;  forgive my double negatives oh father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

At the same time I’d like to get away from it a little bit more. To be chatty, to have that natural knack of bringing conversations to life and having something to talk about, and to be able to share a bit more of my internal monologue with people out there, people like Gareth who are interested, but to do it in real time, to do it in word that I actually say, to put that force of personal commitment behind them that “saying” has, would be a positive.

Now not being blessed like my Creator with the ability to say “be” and then have it “be”, I have to find a way to make it happen.

Suggestions as always, are welcome.



  1. i have no suggestions to make.. in fact, i am going through my own silent phase right now; we have too many guests at home, and that immediately freezes my tongue. one chatty lady asked my masi–in my presence of course–whether my silence was due to my lack of lisan ud dawat skills. i had to laugh when my masi replied that i spoke better LD than she did :p but really, this is no laughing matter. i need to unfreeze my tongue .. and my mind..

  2. I find I give some people the “quiet treatment”. Talking in real time requires much more attention and effort than communicating by written words (i.e., typing), so if I don’t talk much to a person it must be that I have better things to do than talk to him (and therefore giving him my full attention).

    >>I avoid saying and avoiding saying avoids saying those things that shouldn’t be said

    Wow. I still can’t figure this sentence out. I’m surprised it didn’t crash Firefox. Maybe the browser is better built than I had imagined… 🙂

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