Marilyn Monroe’s notebooks were released recently as a book entitled Fragments. They reveal an intelligent and thoughtful woman. She touches several times on the idea that you can never really know someone else, and they can never really know you – you can touch and connect for a little while, but you’re always alone in the end.
I’m blessed to have at least one person who understands me very well. Not everyone has that. In day to day things, so many miscommunications occur. In email, through social media, by letter and by phone, people use language clumsily or lazily. The full context is lost. Face-to-face, people are shy, they use the wrong phrase, they laugh and frown at the wrong times. Through the media – newspapers, television, websites – issues and events are disseminated in terrifyingly inaccurate ways. Due to emotional fear, or detachment, people who love each other find the bond between them eroding away because they just can’t talk to each other anymore.
This is partly what makes writing so very hard. A writer has something urgent to say, a story they passionately want to tell, and they fight to find the right words. Falter just a little and the message is lost. When a writer manages – by luck or by a trick – to hit that sweet spot, the reader is as close as a lover.
Communication is difficult. It takes emotional honesty, understanding of language, commitment to courage and an open heart to achieve genuine communication. One person is talking but the other person also has to listen. Friendships are lost, relationships end, workplaces become boiling pots, and countries go to war when communication fails. Sometimes you realise, too late, what someone was trying to say to you.