Ambivalence Is Good
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
Six weeks have passed since the vision of the man and the child. I know now that I misunderstood the message.
In my vision, the man sits alone in the chair, just his guitar for company. Heâ€™s lost in the chords. Theyâ€™re beautiful and a little discordant and very wistful.
A small boy dances around him, trying to get the man to notice him, but the man is intent on not noticing him. He Â keeps Â his Â emotional Â distance Â from Â the Â boy, Â even though the boy trusts him completely Â and Â can read his mind. The words are much too big for the child to speak unless heâ€™s channeling the manâ€™s thoughts.
â€œHeâ€™s conflicted,â€ the boy tells me. â€œAbout you.â€
I nod. I know. I understand.
The little boy and I talk. He just wants everyone to be happy. Heâ€™s Â adorable. (I modeled Benny in Dark Revelations after him when I first had visions of this boy.)
Then he Â says Â of Â the Â man, Â â€œHe Â canâ€™t Â make Â up Â his mind. Heâ€™s ambivalent.â€
I nod. Ambivalent. How disappointing. Â To me, that was like saying â€œfeeling nothing at all.â€
While on a powerwalk with Shannon this week, I used the word ambivalent and scoffed at it. After all, I have a degree in English. I know things.
Shannon stopped mid-stride and looked at me. â€œYou do know what ambivalent means, donâ€™t you?â€
â€œOf Â course,Â Â I Â do! Â Conflicted.Â Â So-so.Â Â Undecided. Wishy-washy. Â Waffling. Â Could go either way. Ho-hum. Thatâ€™s how I think of the word, especially in the context I usually use it in. Â Doesnâ€™t care.â€
Then Shannon shook her head and explained why she loved her Latin III language classes so much. She went into great detail about the Latin origin of ambivalent.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t mean not having feelings,â€ Â she told me. â€œIt means Â having very strong feelings in different directions. If youâ€™re ambivalent, you canâ€™t make up your mind not because you donâ€™t have feelings but because you have very strong feelings.â€
Oh. Â Â Â Â Â Okay. Â So…ambivalence Â may not be great, but itâ€™s not bad either.