Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feckless Catharsis

I've spent the better part of the evening (and into the morning, now) writing. It began with writing in my journal for an extended time. Too often, I use my journal as the last refuge of my unmitigated thoughts. Things end up there that do not even belong in this blog, my ordinary location for the tussling about of thorny thoughts.

But today was filled with thoughts that I didn't care to elucidate even in this blog. I'm sure that will immediately suggest something embarrassing or controversial on my part, but I assure you it's much more tame than all that. It consists mostly of one or two thoughts which would be unwise to yell in a crowded room.

The "feckless" part comes from the fact that writing at length produced no solace. My labor did not effect any sort of reduction in the tension I feel. I'll have the opportunity to go to confession later in the week; at least, as close as I (a non-Catholic) can get and still drink beer at the same time.

It's very strange when a close friend is the problem. Stranger still if the problem lies within me. Normal avenues of expression become closed. Normal paths of coping become blocked. We all know that honesty is the best policy, but that doesn't take into account the preservation of friendships. Sometimes honesty is unnecessarily cruel and taxing.

We're all aware that we're flawed. But it doesn't do us much good to have our flaws singled out for comment by our friends. It may already be something we think about often, operating under the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy of friendships. Generally, friends are good enough to cut each other slack on topics we may not wish to hear. There's a funny psychological emphasis that's placed on anything friends might mention, even if it is only a minor issue. The thought process becomes, "Why would my friend mention that? It must be a much more serious issue than I ever thought!"

There's a very fine line between "why is my friend treating me like a child and not telling me?" and "why am I being singled out for so much criticism?". The line between may even move after the declarations are made; a sure sign that the playing field is treacherous. One of the hallmarks of a friend is someone who will protect us, but we don't want them to over-protect us. We value their honesty, but we dislike the situation of caustic truthfulness.

There are some things that should not be said. Some words that carry to heavy a price. Some actions that cause more trouble than they solve. Some fallacies that should be ignored.

Some things should be kept forever secret from friends, in order that we remain friends.


  1. At first I thought it said freckleless.

  2. At first I thought it was a regional vernacular form of f*ck.

    I guess we should concentrate on reading what you actually write a bit more.

  3. It's a for-real word.

    As a bonus bit of humor, I originally thought about calling this entry "The Young and the Feckless", but felt that title wasn't as descriptive of what it was about as I would have liked.