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Words Unspoken

Communication can be a tricky business, especially in sensitive circumstances. What to say, when, how… Get it wrong and you can open up a whole host of problems, for yourself, for others, for the situation. Sometimes it’s easier to say nothing. Sometimes it’s better. How do you tell?

I’m pretty much a latecomer to the social media frenzy, certainly as a communication tool although there have been channels I’ve used for a while as an information resource. At first I felt like all there was a whole swathe of rules, customs and conventions in place that I couldn’t understand and would never be able to catch up with. As time went on I started to see that, while to an extent some of that might be true, for the most part it was a platform for people to say whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want, with all the advantages and disadvantages that it entails. It both unifies and destroys, is concurrently freedom and manipulation, facilitates sharing and misunderstanding in equal measure.

Those who make magic have other outlets for expressing or expunging our thoughts and feelings. We whisper our will and wishes into the ether and hope they will be made manifest. We shout into the vacuum and wait for the echo of insight and inspiration to come back to us. This is a good thing, I think. It can satisfy our need for control, for action, for accountability while promoting acceptance of what is beyond our control, what we can do nothing about, what is beyond reason and understanding.

However it cannot be the whole of the story. Magical methods can never be a substitute for engaging with the issues in the real world, for communicating with others, for taking our thoughts and ideas into the debate and evolving them as part of the process.

Sometimes it’s easier to say nothing. Sometimes it’s better. But often it’s not, and unless I can be sure, I think I prefer to keep the lines of communication open, and take what comes.