the question and the answer

In the beginning of a new class, I like to go over hand signals for underwater communication.  I usually start off with the singular most used signal.


Markus tells us everything is a-ok over here.



“OK”, I say, “is the question and the answer”.   I signal ok, you damn well better signal OK back, or i will assume otherwise.


THere are precious few other such succinct communications in life.  One word is the question, and one word is the answer back.  So simple, so brilliant, so easy.  If only life were so easy, and so succinct.  But alas it is not.


I find there are other situations where the question is the same as the answer, but they are few.  FOr instance, the first “I love you” with a new love, so often, is a question and an answer.  So much meaning is packed into those 3 words, and so much vulnerability on the line once uttered.  iloveyoubutdoyoulovemetoo? It’s implied.


These power packed question/answers are a blessing in a world so befuddled by communication.  What does it mean when she didn’t text me back immediately? He read my email but hasn’t responded, he texted me back instead of returning my call, or she kept checking her blackberry when I was talking to her…I find it reassuring to give a one handed signal while maintaining eye contact, and to receive the same in return: we are on the same page, and, for the moment, everything is ok.

The water is murky but the meaning is clear.

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