Saturday, February 23, 2008

conversations........


Saturday morning.........still quiet......except for the hum of the humidifier and the kettle on the boil. A time to catch my breath.....to breathe.........to silently find my focus again as I relive some of the conversations I have had this week, many of which feed my writing and most definately enhance my life. This is going to be a rambling post because I have a head full of different directions.............hope it flows in it's randomness..........
My work life especially is jam packed full of conversations............ooopps, wait a minute.....Sir Maxwell is up........off to have a morning chat, make some breakie and do some game day planning....



OK, I'm back after a catch up on dreams, hockey updates, requests for toasted bagels and plans for this afternoon's basketball play-off game he's involved in, baseball spring training........ big smiles as he settles in to watch sportsdesk and read the newspaper. What an old frigging soul he has!! Just like his Dad and his Grandpa.


Conversations........reflections..........

It's difficult sometimes to pull them apart from one another because they settle into the flow of my thinking, feeling and doing. They validate, challenge, intrigue, energize as well as wipe me out. They pick me up, swallow me whole, make me wonder............ well not the conversations per se, but the person or people I'm connecting with, the thoughts and questions they share with me and I with them.


Some are so meaningful that they stay with me while i try to sort out the meaning, or just replay the feelings and tone behind the words. Most of what is expressed is not found in the words, right? It's found in the essence between the words.....the hesitations, the tone, the body language, eye contact or lack of, their response to your comment.......the tumbling of the words on top of the words when you find you're both talking at the same time because you're so passionate about the topic, or you have such an urge to BLURT it out!


Some conversations are one sided in that one is doing all the talking and one is doing all the listening. These are perhaps the most meaningful for both parties, though don't you think? When two people are trying to outdo and outshine and outtalk the other, so much is missed. Whereas if the roles are clearly felt, the depth of the conversation is limitless........... and more importantly, it matters.


My heart has been heard..........


I heard his heart..............he knows I heard it.



I guess they aren't one-sided after all.........



Most of our conversations seem like fluffy tranparent "how are you's" tossed out like refuse. We're busy, we're being polite, we have places to go. What happens if you take just another minute to go past the nice salutations? Ask one more question and see what happens. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things if you're a couple of minutes late?? Because I stepped out of the normal context of morning rituals at the local Deli and made a comment to one of the regular patrons who happened to be dressed up in suit and tie instead of his regular garb, I ended up in a great (quick too) conversation about an article in the paper on the importance of word count in speech making........how incredibly powerful a speech can be if you simply slow down, speak less words............and use the grace notes between..........Obama for example on average speaks 100 words per minute.............whereas Hilary? She's clocking in at close to 200. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.................... Later, I sought out the article and read it myself. Conversations do that don't they? They feed you with more questions, motivate you to seek out more.....

I have also learned that the woman who serves me a tea in the morning just got her income tax back and went on a mid week tear...........and was feeling a little green under the gills, but was thrilled to have gone out pubbing after a long drought........... I learned that one of my co-workers is struggling with not seeing her father since Christmas because he lives in another city and has been very ill. I learned that another co-worker was extremely tired, not having had a full day off since the beginning of November. It gave me the insight to realize that perhaps this is why complaints have come in on his lack of patience and his short temper responses to some of the people we serve.



You ask, and people will spill................... and it's all good. It's tiring too, and sometimes I come home after a day of many conversations and just have to be very quiet and reflective as I catch my breath, from talking and listening. It works both ways.


Some of my best conversations happen online. I love that. I can almost hear their voices. I can most definately feel their presence.



The most bizarre conversation happened when I stepped out the front door of my office building yesterday after a morning meeting where lots of talk happened. I saw a happy bouncy couple coming towards me holding hands and realized I knew them, though the last time I saw them they were bedraggled and homeless.......shook up in my office. So, with smiling enthusiasm, I greeted them and found myself enveloped in a group hug.....



"How are you guys doing? You look GREAT!"



"We are.........it's so good to see you......."



"It's so good to bump into you too. Are you headed to the Methadone clinic? "



"Yup! We're back on the treatment!"



"Thank God. Do you guys have a place to live now?"



"YES! It's great! We can't thank you enough.........we can walk into town and get our treatment now"



"Wonderful...........are you still under house arrest??"



"YES! laughing.........."



"Well, now you have a home to do that in! I couldn't figure out how you could be under house arrest when you didn't have a home to be arrested in. Remember what i told you......you've got a year to get your asses in gear and get yourself jobs. You have too much to offer this world!"



laughing.........(I've known them for a long time and can get away with pointing this out)



"We promise! Will you still be my guardian angel Dana if we fuck up again?"



"I'm running out of angel patience..................oh, and ___________ I have a book for you in my office.........drop by Monday."



"OK! What's it about?"



"Finding lost souls........"



"Oh, that sounds good........I think I'd like it."



"I think it was written with you in mind............" me smiling at her...........she laughed.



and that was it............too funny.........I shook my head wondering if anyone else on this planet has conversations like this. My God, it was good to see them laughing and in love. There is hope.



Some conversations lead to new paths being forged. Last Saturday night, I was out for dinner with my husband who asked me if I had seen the seat sale on flights to London. I hadn't, but perked up with this new information, wondering where the conversation was going to lead as I had hoped we as a family could plan a trip .........and he said.........."I think you should buy a ticket and go.......... I think you should go and meet Pip. We'll all go on a trip together another time."


And so I am................in May............and who knows who else i will have the opportunity to dip deep into the well of conversations? I'm open to them all...............wide open. I am SO excited.


Possibilities, making it happen............all start by sharing thoughts, feelings, yearnings and dreams. You keep that stuff to yourself and you will forever be treading water and not moving...... a good conversation can lead to horizons opening up for you. We do have a say in our destiny......

It makes for big deep breaths of satisfaction............and wide smiles at the very thought of a rambling level 5 conversation with my friend across the pond.

9 comments:

Disillusioned said...

Oh... If you do end up over in London please let me know; I am not far from London and it would be really good to meet up with you - if you wanted to, and if time allowed, of course.

Awareness said...

Caroline! I would love to meet up with you. I'll let you know what's up when I have a better idea how things will unfold.... I arrive in London on the 14th of May......for a week.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh what a delightful "ramblings" your post was....You do have amazing conversations...I love the exchange with that couple...! It unfolded like dialogue in a play...!
And something else you said reminded me of the importance in a play of 'the pauses'.....How sometimes, the true understanding of something in a play comes during those pauses, just like in life, really.
The conversations that I have a very hard time with are the ones that are really NOT conversations, but Monologues...Where the person on the other end of the phone is only interested in how fascinating THEIR life is and in truth, you could put the phone down, go do something, come back and they would not even be aware that you had been gone! LOL!
I have one friend who does this endless monologue and as time has gone on, I am having a harder and harder time with i and him...Well, at least it is very clear what and who interests him...!
Your trip to London sounds like it will be a wonderful time....!

Kamsin said...

"Possibilities, making it happen............all start by sharing thoughts, feelings, yearnings and dreams. You keep that stuff to yourself and you will forever be treading water and not moving...... a good conversation can lead to horizons opening up for you. We do have a say in our destiny......"

Sometimes I need reminding of this. Thanks!

Tori said...

It is interesting that despite being quite quiet and introverted I feel a jolt of joy when I have a genuine conversation with people I encounter. I think that over time I have come to expect less and less out of the words I exchange with folks in day to day life and it is here, on line, when I can take the time to talk, formulate, and listen, that I find the connections I long for in friendships.

Rainbow dreams said...

I'm sure you'll have a fantastic trip... and all the unknowns that lie ahead... :)

Conversations that really communicate are wonderful... sometimes we have what my old flat mate called 'shopping list conversations' inbetween just to fill the gap between the meaningful though... I didn't realise they had a purpose until quite recently...

All being well I look forward to a real life conversation instead of an online one soon! :)

Awareness said...

Naomi......Lots of scripts and dialogues are floating around in my head....have a few ideas for them too. When i find myself in one of these absurdish but REAL life conversations, I automatically think......hmmmmm......this is great for a play/TV script/book....
My brain is wired that way. Even when I'm listening to a story from a colleague about one of their encounters, I will often remark to them how it would make a great story or how it should be turned into a TV show..... ! IN fact, at the meeting I was involved in on Friday morning there were a couple of work related scenarios shared in confidence that cracked me up and I commented on how it would be a great intro to a script. Then, I described where I would take the scenario (of course we were way off topic by then!!) and we LAUGHED about how over the top the frontlines would seem to an outside observer....and yet most times it feels very normal. hahaha!

The endless monologuers? Tedious, you're right. But, man are they needy...... that what i always think. I hate getting cornered by someone like that who continues to carry on these one sided conversations wherever and whenever. You just want to make yourself invisible. Its best to fantasize or something when that happens....

Kamsin....it's funny...i find that sometimes i will write something and realize while writing that it is a reminder to myself. this was such a situation. We can carry on with great ideas and thoughts in our head......planning and plotting and wishing and dreaming, but if it hasn't been formulated from the language centre in the brain to the language centre in the heart, it tends to shrivel up and die on the branch of thoughts. Yes, I need to remind myself too..........

Tori.....one of the most interesting gifts that has come out of this online stuff is how "present" a person feels despite the geographical distance and despite the inability to "hear" someone..... It has taken listening and sharing to a whole new orbit.

Katie.....I think they are important as well. Catch up chats formulate deeper level chats don't they? Knowing the context behind the deeper level conversation helps in understanding and in feeling confident in sharing oneself.

Yes, my pending trip is an open ended kind of experience.....it feels kind of magical. I can't quite explain it yet...havent found the right words, but i know it is definately meant to be.....the whys and hows etc are still very unknown.

Marja said...

wow Dana I am excited with you. What a great adventure. Hope you have a great time. You dare to live that's one thing I like about you. About conversation, I just had a great one this morning with my dutch friend on the phone. I was stuck and she helped me unravel completely. What a delight

Gypsy said...

I have some very interesting conversations with my customers and after visiting up to 20 or so in one day at times, I am exhausted. The good thing though is that I am full of thoughts and ideas as a direct result of these conversations.

You never stop learning as long as you are communicating.