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18                                    Saying It Well

Chris asks, "Why don't you think a bit more before you start talking?"

Pat replies, "But how do I know what I think till I hear what I say?"

There is a measure of sense in Pat's reply: after I have said a few words, I judge, Did that come out right, did I say what I wanted to say? And certainly, people sometimes correct themselves, along the lines of, "I did not say that quite right; what I meant to say is ..."

        My point is that saying even a few words is like starting a poem or a work of art: one has in oneself at least a partial idea of what the outcome should be like, and the outcome either does or does not match up. And beside occasions when it feels wrong, there are more occasions when one has a sense of things being right. To have phrased a crisp sentence that had its effect yields pleasure.

        Like reading, conversation is a dense stream of micro-matchings. There is pleasure also in your friend's response and in your hearing what they have to say.



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