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.

4 thoughts on “tongue tied on the Mekong

  1. Sister Lynda

    Funny how we must all find our own roads or rivers (road or river depending on how you want to juxtapose your lifes happenings – maybe it would be better to say hills & mountains, or another tantamount comparison). Although tiring, it is good to keep thinking and juggling our thoughts and delimas around and around. Like whether to “Say or Not to Say”. Humanity – quite simple – quite complicated. Your finding your way through this tremendous challenge you can be exceedingly proud of your overcomings to date.

    So what is the site from the Mekong River?

  2. JA

    Glad to hear of your decision. As the story goes, possibly it won’t be over food; therefore, less tongue biting probability..therefore easier flow. You (and your story) is incredible and your moxie is uplifting! Onward and upward (as someone said).

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~ Helen Keller

  3. Mother

    Ah! the reason for Haiku is to say what one needs to say with dignity and indirectness. Saving face as it were.
    5 words
    7 words
    5 words
    I read today the value of verbal poetry (Haiku or some other form of speech) is to extend the sword of truth
    without offending and thus keeping the lines of communication open for positive dialogue.

    Tell me, how different are the
    Chinese from the Japanese in this sophisticated process?

  4. Stryker Warren jr.

    Fred: I miss your unabashed mantra about kicking Senor T’s ass; I think others would be genuinely interested in your odyssey and your gift for dramatizing the good, the bad, the ugly of the health care system; I especially like it when you demonstrate your great intellect, cynicism and that badass attitude in one of your riffs. Share it man; I think most would be blown away by it all. Of this I speak from a personal perspective. U R the Warrior Fred.


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