Traveling, even fairly locally, involves removing oneself from familiar norms. But, can this also be said of spending abundant time with someone who is vastly different that oneself? Well, I can personally attest to this.
I have come to know many individuals along the way whose voiced perceptions and involuntary reactions make me feel as if I am visiting another country ... which tends towards a sense of culture shock.
culture shock n. A condition of confusion and anxiety affecting a person suddenly exposed to an unfamiliar culture or milieu. The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary.
Experienced and efficient hosts share a specific skill set: they can easily recognize when a guest feels out of place, and will graciously make them feel comfortably welcomed. The best at this do so effortlessly.
But, what about the experience of reading a novel, or a poem, for the first time? As with any unfamiliar environment, which this usually is, there is a bit of a lag between the initial exposure and actually tuning in.
A proper introduction, followed by ready clarifications along the way, will facilitate this easily in conversation. However, when words are left to explain themselves, things can, and sometimes do, go awry.
Technical documents, when written for consumers, require that the information be translated, i.e., simplified for the less, or non-technically inclined. This work is generally performed by technical writers.
Unfortunately, I have read, and written, pieces which assumed that the reader would automatically “get it,” as if the concepts and elements in the piece were universally understood. Occasionally, they were not.
It is all too easy for me to forget that I only really live in my own head, where everything makes perfect sense. And so, I am ever grateful for my editors, who are quick to point out any ambiguities they find in my poems.
I invite you to do so, as well.