Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pages of Notes

Been busy. Right now I am looking at pages of scrawled notes covering everything from career options to a little tree that tries to show the connections between different types of violence.

One of the difficult issues with violence as a study is that relatively few people have extensive experience. Of those, even fewer have the drive to analyze what they have experienced. That leaves small numbers, widely scattered, trying to figure things out alone. That, in turn, means that each of us create our own private language.

Again and again (and maybe again, but not much more than that- there are literally less than five people that I can talk to on some stuff) we find that we have experienced a thing, but we have each chosen a different word for it. My 'predator' is MM's 'criminal' his 'predator' is my 'process predator'. So getting together with any of these few- Mauricio, Mac, Sean, MG and now MM-- is an exercise in linguistics: "Oh, I've seen/done that but I call it..." There isn't a common language for this stuff. And we desperately need a language if we want to share.

There is also a special dynamic to speaking about problems with someone who thinks a lot like you do, but not quite. You tend to have wondered about the same things in different ways. To have looked at issues from perspectives similar enough to share but different enough to learn from each other. It makes connections. Your brain gets new good stuff. Older stuff can settle into new patterns.

Probably the precious thing is the ability to talk about it directly. The good stuff and the bad stuff. The things that so few people have any frame of reference to understand. It's like childbirth that way- you can watch videos and read books but there is no way I would pretend or delude myself that I understand what my wife has gone through. Nor would I insult her by pretending to.

I've had two days of being able to talk about stuff. That's nice. Now it's time to get back to work. Books are waiting.

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