Sunday, May 11, 2008

Telephone - Sunday Scribblings #110

The telephone was always such a curious and mysterious instrument to me.

My earliest memories was of a box that you spoke into to share secrets with others.  I would hear all these mysterious clicks only to discover what I thought was secret could be regurgitated right back at me at any time.

It was also a little box that brought bad news.  People from other countries would call in the middle of the night - someone is sick, someone has died.  And the person receiving the message on our end would start crying or moaning.

And telephone calls with family members overseas were very brief and non-satisfying and very scratchy.  "Is everything OK?  Yes.  Here too.  Speak to you next week."  In fact, this was my way of communicating with my parents once I was on my own.  "How is everything?  Okay?  All is well.  Speak to you next Friday"

Nowadays, with the cell phone, telephone calls have become impersonal - some thing to be done to pass time while doing other things such as driving vehicles or waiting for something else to happen.

For me communication is difficult enough between two people who are truly connected.  Add a phone and wires in between connecting one box to another and a lot of meaning is lost in translation.  Communication is only 30% about what is said.  The rest is conveyed by body language.  Alas, with a telephone - you are left to decipher the meaning of what you hear.

Over the years, I have become a better listener.  I pick up tone and nuance in a person's voice.  I listen for the pauses and silences and can better interpret what they represent.

And when speaking with older members of the family, it is amazing how much joy and solace a telephone call can create.  Calling my grandmother in Romania out of the blue can make her day!!!  And hearing her voice light up makes mine.

Wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day!!!


Granny Smith said...

So you have a grandmother in Romania! We have lived in a number of countries, and Romania is my second favorite, Brazil being my favorite (except for my native U.S.A. of course). The people there were so warm and hospitable during the 4 months that we lived in Bucharest back in 1973.

I agree with you that telephones are not the best way to communicate. But they are the only way when people live far apart.

Lilibeth said...

Ah. I used to wonder why my grandparents hagged goodbye so long, as if they didn't want to let go. (We saw them every six months or so because we lived about 1500 miles away.) The phone was seldom used, mostly for business or to report a death in the family, and long distance was fairly unreliable, just like cell phones are today...out of area, not charged, no network signal. I know they will be better someday, but the land lines seem so reliable now.
Now I understand better about giving up that link with those you love. I bug my own offspring to death, calling if they are late, to assure myself that they haven't crashed somewhere. I still don't hug so long a goodbye, but I feel like it sometimes.
Blessings to your Grandmother in Romania.

pattie said...

Beautiful post Goddess...I can hear your smiling voice even without a phone!!
Blessings to you!