"No need to reply"

“Dear Zha,

I’m feeling a surge of love and emotion for you after our conversation, so rather than call and spoil your mac-and-cheese! (and cry again) I write you to tell you that you are the most important person, and that by being here with me, YOU HAVE SAVED MY LIFE, saved it from many bad things and saved it for many good things, over and over and over.

Thanks.
[]”

"No need to reply"

“Surgery, if performed, is usually successful.”

I saw this sentence on the New York Times web site:

“Surgery, if performed, is usually successful.”

Here’s the page it’s on, for reference: http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/tongue-tie/overview.html.

What I am wondering is: how can a surgery be successful, or unsuccessful, if not performed?

I think the idea that {surgery performed for this condition is usually successful} and the idea that {surgery is not always performed for this condition}, belong in separate, sequential clauses instead of one placed in the middle of the other, as with this sentence.

I feel that the writer, in this case, is just lazy: in the middle of saying {surgery performed for this condition is usually successful} remembers that it’s important that the reader know that {surgery is not always performed for this condition} and inserts it as an appositive, conversationally, instead of revising into sequential clauses.

The resulting sentence, while less offensive than Nazis, I find bizarre: it can be read as though it is reminding me of something I should already know (that the success or failure of an event depends on the occurrence of the event).  Probably this wasn’t the intention of the writer, but it’s not 100% clear, given the string of words actually chosen.

“Surgery, if performed, is usually successful.”

As I fill intentionally, I must intentionally empty

Today I meditated by the pool for six hours.  My meditation was sitting, being alone, listening to music on my headphones, and letting the waves of my thoughts turn into ripples, then into calm and stillness.  Then, after a long time, in the space that was created by stillness, new thoughts came.  The most profound, for me, is this:

as I fill intentionally, I must intentionally empty

I have spent much of my life, and each day I continue to spend much of my life, filling my mind with thoughts: reading, constructing, playing, programming, conversing, debating, theorizing, writing.  I am intentional about how I fill—in this case—my mind.  I keep up, I keep active, I keep full in that way.  Today I devoted time to intentionally emptying.

I need to keep a balance between the two; they work together, like expanding and contracting do in a muscle.  If only expanding or only contracting, the muscle is of little use.  I need to put this into practice, with (at least) my mind, as it has to do with emptying and filling.

As I fill intentionally, I must intentionally empty