Life is not always easy being a node. For a variety of reasons, I tend to be the sort of person who ends up being placed in the position of communicating matters to other people that others simply do not for one reason or another. It happens so often that I consider it a Nathanish sort of matter to be the bearer of unwelcome or at least unknown news. Today was the sort of day that led me to ponder the sort of communication I had, and the sort of people who were interested in looking up various awkward comments that I had recorded from my own life, and what sort of communication can be sent even without intention or plan simply because one places enough information for others to see whatever picture they are looking for, whether or not that picture reflects either intention or reality. We can communicate both more or less than we intend, and often we end up doing both in spite of ourselves.
Since yesterday I have been in a conversation with someone about the post-Thanksgiving variety show I normally perform for. As is my custom, I chose a song to sing, in this case one that has a great deal of emotional resonance for me given my struggles with communication and certain business which is now impossible to resolve except by writing off as a loss . Being the sort of person who asks questions that others may not, I made an innocent query about whether there was a rehearsal for the event and then, upon receiving a follow-up to my question, commented on the sort of arrangements that had been made in the past. I have no idea what will happen, or whether the arrangements that had happened in the past will continue, or go into new hands but stay otherwise the same, or what, but I felt it necessary at any rate to communicate what had happened so that at least there might be the possibility of continuity, if that was desired. It is not a bad thing for there to be intentional change, but it is more irksome when change happens simply because people are unaware of the past rather than making a deliberate change in direction.
A great deal of my work life is spent in communication. I send reports out, communicate absences, field requests for people to be added or removed from various aspects of reporting and call queuing and so on. I am often baffled by the extent to which some people do not communicate at all or communicate so badly. Sometimes people are so incoherent that their point simply cannot be understood. Some people communicate insistently without showing concern for the person receiving the message, and some people just abandon all attempts at communication at all and leave the interpretation of their wishes or requests to the nonexistent mind-reading capabilities of other people. At other times people make requests that are simply baffling, and one has to try to convey in as gentle but as firm as possible a manner that what they are asking for is simply not going to happen. At still other times one goes about one’s daily life business and simply hopes that no one will ask about something or another that one does not want to talk about. Surprisingly often this works out quite well, which is likely due to the fact that everyone is so heavily burdened that no one can likely follow up on everything that ought to be on their mind and in their attention.
But is it right to consider such things to be Nathanish as if it was only someone like me who had this sort of problem? Surely, if such an aspect of existence can be so frequent for me, and in so many areas of life, than it has to be just as common for everyone else as well. Perhaps few people feel it necessary to write about it or think about it all the time. Maybe they just accept it as an aspect of life that is so ordinary that it is not worth commenting about, or perhaps they think that they are doing much better at communication than they actually are. As for me, I know that I struggle mightily with communication, both in making myself understood and in feeling as if there is an absence of awkwardness between me and others. At times, that awkwardness may exist only in my head, but that is no less real because awkwardness that is felt is awkwardness that is acted on and brooded over. Yet even if such matters are common for us, they do not have to be our destiny. We can rise above them–if we only knew how.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: