I have been walking all over my tongue for a week without meaning offense. But I have offended a crowd of people. Sometimes I do this for sport. I rev up the old "Newfoundlander Muscle" and go to town, knocking out anyone in the way.
Not this time. This time I was just trying to work strategically and be impressive. My motivation was clean.
The results were not.
I am pretty sure I offended a young woman I really respect. She passed on information that was public and intended to be shared and I tried to navigate it back to where I had been working on it with others in a strategic way. A bad habit left from my political days.
I used the word "political" in another meeting and was hauled in by the "tea-cup". That group has decided that the word "political" scares people and they like the words"consensus building" better.
I also discussed the problem of visual cliches with someone who works with the imagery I was describing. It was hard to reel back when I saw the look on her face. It was hard to tell her that I thought the work she produces is completely inspiring and beautiful.
I cut myself by accident today and bled a stream of black blood which demanded a trip to the Doctor. He wasn't my regular family doctor and when he explained the blood was venous I was sure he said "Venomous"! He laughed and said he thought I might be a little anxious.
Anxious! Hardly the word for a woman who has been trapped in the casa trying to heal from a dreaded and having to learn to renegotiate a place for her energies.
Anxious is hardly a word for my confusion at a textile world that is dominated by sweetness and priviledge and other women just finding their place.
Tomorrow I will pull in my long tongue, spit the boot out, and hope for the wisdom and maturity to remember that most people are doing the best they can. They don't always know what I know or see it my way.