Monday, March 12, 2012

Communication, Well Said

It took me a few minutes to get this, and for a moment it seemed like too much work -- just tell me! -- but no: I was wrong, the artist was right: xkcd on communication

Friday, March 9, 2012

It Takes all Kinds

" make a world.'

But that's patently absurd. It doesn't take all kinds to make a world; it takes exactly the kinds we have, because -- take a look around -- we have a world.

What this is really trying to say is something more like: "I wish to believe that the world requires for its very existence all the weirdnesses that people manifest so that my own hidden (or obvious) weirdnesses might be not only acceptable but necessary for our mutual continued existence."

In other words, I'm necessary. My aberrations are of value to the world. My dark corners are positively meaningful.

Wishing doesn't make it so. But here's what I think is true: it takes all kinds to cover the permutation space and to explore the infinite variety of the many ways there are to be human.

Well, okay. Maybe that works. Now that I've rephrased it.

Guess I'm one of those kinds.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Words to a Grieving Widow

There are no good words. None at all. So we hugged.

"I'm sorry," I whispered in her ear. "So sorry."

"I know," she replied softly, not letting me go.

"I know you know," I said back quietly. "But I have to say something."

"I know," she said, still hugging me.

It was a bit funny and a lot heartrending. Nearly twenty years we'd been friends,  she and her recently departed -- lost? died? exited stage left? -- husband.

Who was irreverent and affectionate. He used to call me "darlin'". He was a damned good writer and one of the few I've known who I wanted to write with.

In fact, mere months ago we started riffing on a story we wanted to write together, about a PI who was following this guy who kept flubbing ornate assassinations. The story was about how, after a while, the PI became fascinated by and sympathetic to the guy he was following, and as he started to understand his motivations, began to even help him -- help him fail, that is. It was a good premise, funny, and just the sort of thing that Mark could make come alive.

It was a good time. A good memory.

So what do you say to a grieving widow? What words can do any good in the face of a pain so great it is neither bearable nor escapable? There aren't any. Not a one.

But you have to say them anyway.

I'm sorry.

So sorry.