Sunday Morning Musings: For entertainment this week I have been reading Roy MacGregor’s book, Northern Light. Certainly he has written different books but this one does a great job of holding the mystery that is Tom Thomson. I live in the town of Huntsville and there is no shortage of the Thomson legacy that is both appreciated and questioned which, for me, on adds to the unknown. In July, Grant Nickalls adapted the work of MacGregor and Stina Nyquist and enhanced another element of Thomson through highlighting Thomson’s relationship with Winnie Trainor. Quite well-done, Nickalls left the mystery in the mind of the audience. And like, all good mysteries, the answer is left just there where it should be.
As a result the mystery leaves itself open to speculation – did they or didn’t they? Was she or wasn’t she expecting? That is what makes mystery so wonderful and so acceptable (and sadly, open to gossip). The problem lies not with the mystery itself but with those minds that don’t like mystery; with those minds that need the answers. But like life itself, mysteries will always remain. Questions will be left unanswered.
However, the fact that mystery abounds also leads to misunderstandings or more precisely miscommunication. What I say or attempt to communicate is not always what the other party hears or receives. The more frequent use of emogicons is supposed to help when the communication is not “face to face” rather uses various modes of technology that allow us to communicate “feelings” with each other. But sometimes even the use of “pictures” or “images” do not always tell us exactly what the speaker or writer is hoping to communicate.
The use of abbreviations in messaging can also pose problems. For example, I emailed an individual once asking if it was okay to do something differently. The response I got was “np”. Being new to texting and having a snippet of Hebrew training which originally was written without vowels, I heard “nope”. In reality, the answer meant “no problem”. My thinking and the other person’s thinking were exact opposites. I wonder how often this happens in our lives, especially when we don’t check out the meaning. I was offended to the “np” answer. The answer was not only what I didn’t want to hear, but to be so brief, almost made it seem impertinent. How dare I be spoken to in this manner? Fortunately, the opportunity for understanding and clarification was taken and all was well.
Yet such miscommunication abounds and in time no amount of proof can convince another party of the intention, especially when the other party doesn’t want to “hear” something different. I was always taught that in the Bible Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah who was “less desirable” than her sister Rachel. Later, I discovered that the word used to describe Leah meant something totally different. Now, this may not mean much by itself, but it made me wonder how often the writer of a particular passage may word something to meet a specific need or even tone?
As important as communication is, we will never have all the answers. There is always room for miscommunication and as a result misunderstanding. In the end however, I found that I am left with a mystery. More importantly, I have learned that it is okay to be live with the unknown. Until next time plkprdg.