In recent months I’ve had important conversations with multiple people. These conversations, some coming as a complete surprise, have helped me navigate life. Out-of-the-blue conversations without agenda are always, I think, the best. They mean someone had to employ deep consideration to initiate them with and that is hard work indeed.
I have tried to initiate conversations with several people, but have been mostly rebuffed or met with indifference. I will keep trying, though. And I still haven’t returned a conversation offered in April with someone once special to me.
There have also been a few one-sided conversations where the talker monologues a rock solid paradigm or all-knowing, cocksure, philosophy that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the other talker.
That doesn’t help me. Listening does. Saying nothing, too. Asking questions often works well. There is an art to asking pertinent personal questions of someone and then actually listening to the answers, perhaps not even responding. It’s a fine art, listening, particularly listening without immediately telling someone what to do or how what they just heard connects to something from their life.
It’s called a pause, pausing before responding. I’m getting better at that all the time.
Recent good conversations include topics such as poetry, the eclipse, Oregon politics, Oregon’s marijuana industry, seeing the other side of probation, a documentary film, my family, struggle, civil rights, healing, reinvention, caulking, Calvados, listening, unhappiness, happiness, Neruda, detective fiction, writing, Sometimes a Great Notion, driftwood forts, the importance of art, land use laws, depression, dogs, Catholicism and dams.
Please keep conversing with me and I will with you. I will listen, too. It’s the first step at advancing.
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