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Passions in Poetry

The Two Scariest Responses

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 03-24-2004 10:22 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad


I talk a lot. One of the scariest responses I get now and then is when making a statement, they respond, "Ah, I know what you mean." I'm often dumbfounded because I don't see how they could.

I've seen it happen to others as well. Back, many, many years ago, I lived in America. Remember the OJ Simpson trial? Two women were talking, one who worked in the LA courthouse, she said, "You have no idea what's happening there. The answer is so obvious that. . ."

"Ah I know what you mean. It's so obvious that he's guilty," said the other woman.

"Uh, innocent."

Embarrassed silence.

Oh, and the other response that always scares the hell out of me,

"Don't worry, everything will turn out all right."
Balladeer
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1 posted 03-24-2004 11:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Fear not, Brad. You will NEVER hear me say, "I know what you mean"!
Christopher
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Purgatorial Incarceration


2 posted 03-24-2004 11:15 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

i know you are mean.

Brad
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3 posted 03-25-2004 09:16 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Christopher,

Perhaps I am. I just noticed that your thread 'Feeling' (posted two years ago) was bumbed. I have no problems that it was bumped, and some of the responses were cute (Serenity's was the best, but Martie and Interloper seemed to be saying nice things as well).

But no one asked what you were feeling. I don't understand this. Sure, it may have been private, people may have taken e-mail paths to discover the problem, but I'm at a loss to understand how anyone can know what you're feeling unless you tell us.

Are we, to some people, really just vessels for amorphous, ineffable, and yet universal feeling?

Solidarity as anaesthesia?
Christopher
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4 posted 03-25-2004 09:28 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I know what you mean, Brad.

Now before you jump on me, I'm not saying that I unequivocally and exactly understand what you mean. What I'm saying (as I imagine many/most are) is that within the realms of my experience, what I am hearing from you fits within an understanding based on my own perspective. Taken literally, I don't believe it's possible. Taken with a little bit of slack, I think there are many possibilities of "knowing what you mean."

I think feeling that one is on the same "wavelength" as another engenders a closeness to another. It can also serve to enable one to "fit in." Of course, as your laughable example shows... such is not always the case!

As to my post (had to go back and add this part because I forgot to first time 'round), I think that's also a common desire to a) fit in, be part of a shared understanding with another and b) a way to attempt helping another by exhibiting said understanding. I doubt anyone thinks they actually know literally what another is feeling (especially in this typ eof amorphous situation), but is bending the understanding to a generalization. While depression has many different root causes as well as symptoms, it's generally accepted that it feels "bad." Likewise for happiness, or other emotions. In turn, when one expresses something over an event, the emotion is assumed by others based on their experience... and here I am rambling, realizing that typing in here means I stay away from the work on my desk that needs to be done. LOL - know how that feels?

For the record, as I recall only one of the people in that thread wrote me an email.
Balladeer
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5 posted 03-25-2004 09:50 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Chris...your Feelings thread was  bumbed?? That wasn't very nice!
Brad
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6 posted 03-26-2004 04:54 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I think feeling that one is on the same "wavelength" as another engenders a closeness to another. It can also serve to enable one to "fit in." Of course, as your laughable example shows... such is not always the case!


I suppose being on the same 'wavelength' does do exactly the things you say. I just don't see how it can be forced without staying on an extremely general level, and staying on a general level leaves one in, I think, a permanent case of general anxiety. That can't be good.

I was watching a Friends episode, the one where her mom tries to reunite with Feebie:

"Well, what do you like?"

"I like pizza."

"Wow, me too."

Now that's funny. But the humor is lost when it becomes:

"Well, do you like?"

"Yes, I like."

"Wow, me too."

Without knowing what it is you like.  

quote:
I think that's also a common desire to a) fit in, be part of a shared understanding with another


No doubt there is. But these are two different things, aren't they? 'Fitting in' is public, a 'shared understanding' is personal. I don't 'fit in' with my wife, but I do think we have a shared understanding -- at least some of the time.

quote:
b) a way to attempt helping another by exhibiting said understanding.


But how helpful is it?

I don't know, maybe, the question should be, "How harmful is it?"

quote:
I doubt anyone thinks they actually know literally what another is feeling (especially in this typ eof amorphous situation), but is bending the understanding to a generalization. While depression has many different root causes as well as symptoms, it's generally accepted that it feels "bad." Likewise for happiness, or other emotions. In turn, when one expresses something over an event, the emotion is assumed by others based on their experience


Here's the deal. If the priority is to fit in or to have a shared understanding, and we live in a community that believes we should help others, not by solving problems, not by listening, or even simple support, but by commiseration, aren't we creating the seeds for just more of the same?

CS Lewis, in a different context puts it this way:

quote:
In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth -- only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.


--Mere Christianity p. 32. Italics are mine.

I still have problems with that word, truth, but other than that, I think he's right here.

quote:
I stay away from the work on my desk that needs to be done. LOL - know how that feels?


What? Resisting the running capitalist dogs in there infernal drive to make my life as tedious as possible? 'Tis a noble thing you do, Sir, a noble thing.


Local Rebel
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7 posted 03-26-2004 07:23 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Babies crying in a nursery.

One starts, the others follow.  

Know what I mean?
Aenimal
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8 posted 04-01-2004 02:46 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

A third and personally the most feared response

Well, it can't get any worse.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


9 posted 04-01-2004 06:37 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yeah, my eyebrow raises (In true Spock/Rock fashion) on that one too.
Aenimal
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the ass-end of space


10 posted 04-01-2004 10:11 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Exactly, it can always get worse..

Live long and prosper if ya smeeeeell..what the spok is cooking, captain.
jbouder
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11 posted 04-02-2004 08:27 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Interesting ... I have the same reaction when someone says, "I just assumed ..."
Sunshine
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12 posted 04-02-2004 09:12 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


How about ... "well, that's just the way it is"...
Christopher
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13 posted 04-02-2004 01:13 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

yeah, Kari, that's the one... i used to tell my employees that the worst answer they could ever give me in response to why they were doing something a certain way was "that's the way we've always done it."

grrr.
Aenimal
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14 posted 04-02-2004 02:16 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"

Tell that to the Trojans, besides you try getting the same cd 3 christmas' in a row

'Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota
monax materiam possit materiari?'
~Gluteus Maximus

Ron
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15 posted 04-02-2004 07:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

The only response that truly frightens me is no response.
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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Southern Abstentia


16 posted 04-02-2004 08:44 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

That's it exactly Ron.

And what I was getting at earlier.  We need synchronization in order to communicate.  It's part of the process.  

Uh huh,

Go on,

Yeah,

I know what you mean...

all they really mean is -- I'm listening.

Nothing much to be afraid of.  

How are you?

Fine.  You?

Great

Yeah!  

Nice day.

Doesn't say much -- but it facilitates the process -- and the non-verbals that are going on during the process are the bulk of the real communication.
Essorant
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17 posted 04-02-2004 09:36 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I find this one a bit frightening:

"Whatever"

berengar
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since 01-02-2004
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18 posted 04-03-2004 07:47 PM       View Profile for berengar   Email berengar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for berengar

"I wasn't to know."
 
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