tongue tied on the Mekong

Being tongue tied is never a preferred state.  Clarity is the goal, for most of us most of the time.  Of course, some cultures naturally like to talk around things, be less direct.  It might be more polite to be less direct.  In fact, it’s easier for some to be tongue tied than to spit out the truth.  And we’ve been taught that spitting is not polite.  Is all that clear?

In GV’s culture, there is a tendency to talk around things.  You don’t just ‘get to the point.’  If a friend tells you something that happened to him, he may just begin somewhere in another life and ramble on about different events that lead up to what happened.  In many SE Asia cultures, like the one I’m currently in, it’s considered rude to be direct.

None of this has anything to do with how I tell anyone I’ve had throat cancer.  But with the all the excellent and valid comments I’ve received from the last post, I’ve changed my feelings about who I tell.  The input and insight has been much appreciated.  If I choose to keep the fact that I’ve just had major surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to myself, then it may point to my own insecurities.  What am I afraid of?  What I mean is, without being indirect or unclear, it may make sense to tell those when it matters while not telling those when it doesn’t.

My tongue is still quite swollen, not only at the base down in the throat, but also in the mouth on the left side.  At breakfast today, as I was chewing in slow motion, I bit my tongue again as it just tends to get in the way.  The result was that it got even more swollen than it normally is at rest.  So as the tongue bitting happened, I was telling my friend and potential business associate about the cancer thing.  I ended up tongue tied in more ways than I wanted to be.  Words were coming out but not how they should have sounded.  It was sort of like lisping, giving me a new form of humility.

It may have been appearance.  I always thought of myself as somewhat resilient to (life) stuff and feeling that I was physically durable. That fact that I’ve had cancer, and now all the resulting cure reactions has been a touch embarrassing.  It’s like a self-inflicted defect.  It may sound corny, and perhaps trite, but it’s something I can’t wait to get behind me — but maybe it’s staying up front and personal for my own good.  In the end, it’s only a deal, big or small, to me.  It’s just a thing, that happened.  I’ll get over it.  And I don’t mean to keep writing about it, but it does provide the impetus to share some blogo thoughts.

And speaking of sharing, as I was at breakfast this morning on the Mekong River with the tropical bugs (and my friend), I felt grateful for the heartfelt comments received a world away.  That’s nothing to be tongue tied about.