Thursday, February 27, 2014

An absence of NO

Perhaps it's the contrarian side of me, but I couldn't help myself.  "NO" just naturally means "YES".

I recall that we were cautioned as teenagers, learning Japanese while living in Japan, that "Iei" (no) was impolite to say in business and formal situations.  I don't think it's as much of a taboo now, except in retail/business exchanges when it is still very impolite, but long ago and in a rural area it was stressed.

That suited me fine!  I tried to co-op the etiquette and extend it to American-English situations as well.

It is very interesting…and sometimes requires adroit mental gymnastics, to communicate 'no' without using the word.  Prime training for diplomacy that was required years later when I became a parent and, later still, during my career as a real estate broker.

Now, older, wiser and much more experienced, I see real value in not saying 'no'.  For instance, I try dyeing, or a new technique, or a new idea without success.  Perfect time for a 'yes!'  That situation simply set up a new dynamic….time to try something different.

I hope to build on negatives with a big, old, hearty, fist-pumping YES.

It Would Be Impolite to Say No (27"x27")


  1. Your piece is gorgeous Diane. I've got to share it with my mom; you may recall she lived in Japan too. I hope to have more big, old, hearty, fist-pumping YES in my life too!

  2. In my experience, that's how you've lived your life :) There's so many things going on in your piece. I love the little birds and the orange/red!

  3. What a beautiful piece! Thank you for sharing the story with us!