keeping quiet

Funny I should post about keeping quiet after I’ve kept my blog quiet for so long. But not really all that funny, because that’s what writing does, eh? It’s like dreams. Se destacan las tendencias abajas de la conciencia.

Anyway what made me think of it is that there are some things I feel I have developed ideas about, or that people would like to read about, but which I also feel are better off only spoken. Even if I could write something cute about them, a certain experience or a restaurant or a beautiful swimming hole I was taken to, sometimes I don’t think that does them the same justice of showing them, or at least telling about them in a conversation.

Today my roommate called me to get directions to Mercado Sonora (the witch doctor market) and I just told her what metro station it’s by. I explicitly told her I would not explain any more because it’s more appropriate just to figure it out once you’re near the metro station. She and I are pretty much on the same wavelength about these types of things anyway, and she totally knew what I meant.

In some ways that “inappropriateness” of explanation seems really Mexican to me. It’s like how the extensive pesero system is completely unreferenced except by mouth and signs on windshields. Aside from knowing the organizational principle that they normally go between metro stations, you just have to rely on a combination of intuition and asking. And on chance, if you’re me, and probably a lot of other people.

Another example could be the legal-bureaucratic system. Even though the process of applying for a resident visa here is now online, which in theory mandates that the process be standardized enough to go down in writing, immigration still has no published guidelines on how to obtain one. (Which is why I wrote some, after going through the process myself.)

It’s not exactly the commonness of inexplanation that is really Mexican to me– it’s when that inexplanation is coupled with being comfortable not knowing.

Oooh! Haha. I fell in love with this Marianne Moore poem at a weird time in my life (college). Note that I am no longer really in love with it, but anyway it’s sort of related so I will paste it here:

Original text: Marianne Moore, Observations (New York: The Dial Press, 1924)


My father used to say,
“Superior people never make long visits,
have to be shown Longfellow’s grave
nor the glass flowers at Harvard.
Self reliant like the cat —
that takes its prey to privacy,
the mouse’s limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth —
they sometimes enjoy solitude,
and can be robbed of speech
by speech which has delighted them.
The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
not in silence, but restraint.”
Nor was he insincere in saying, “‘Make my house your inn’.”
Inns are not residences.

Estás en tu casa, eh?

2 responses to “keeping quiet

  1. Pingback: “silence,” by marianne moore | ILL CAMINO REAL

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