real talks: it’s better this way

12/05/2010 § Leave a comment

It was 7:15am, and I snapped awake: so, this is me sleeping in, I thought.

I pulled the covers over my eyes, Harry Potter-flannel overlayed with a periwinkle-blue fitted-sheet. Still, I could not shake my waking, there is no snooze button in the brain.

Yesterday and all of last night I spent quality time with people. It started at 8-in-the-morning and went until midnight, a busy 16-hours of absorbing stories and tales and thoughts and ideas. What a busy day.

Crawling into my daybed at nighttime, a smile crawled across my face. All day and all night I had been trying to tell my friends some crazy stories of being down South, like the people I met, the places I had gone, the beef I had eaten. Then, I would say that 90% of the time, the friend would turn to me and say, I know, I read your post.

Well, huh.

When I woke up this morning, I  thought to myself: Well, what kind of stories do I tell, now? I have shared my life and experiences, quite intimately, with those that care for me and have chosen to read what I wrote.

Now what do I say? 

Suddenly, I remembered to do what I love doing the most. To listen.

The truth is, I have always loved listening. Whether it’s someone’s entire life, his or her thoughts, ideas, aspirations, trials and tribulations, hunger-pains and heartache, I love listening to it. All of it. There is no topic that I could not discuss with the people that I have chosen to surround mysefl with. Everyone has something absolutely fascinating to contribute to my rolodex of stories. As I have written before, I thrive on it, live from it, feel creative with it.

So. After a little wine, some cornchips&hummus, and S telling me she “already read that one”, we got into some real talks, and I sat and listened and processed and now I share it with everyone:

S: The difference between the South and the North is the colour. The South is orange, the North is blue.

b: Girl, I have no idea what you are talking about.

S: Listen. In the South you have sun and desert and clay and an overall vibe of general warmth. They live in the moment and seize every opportunity. In the North, you have a big open sky and buildings and steel and, generally, everyone’s a litle colder, in temperature, that is, you can even get a case of the blues up here. As a result, we are afraid of what the future holds and focus on what pain the past has brought. We hold onto those moments and forget about the now.

Right then and there, my head might have exploded.

Here we were, removed from me needing to retell — in my robotic, neanderthal-manner — any stories from Argentina, because, in reality, there should be a reason behind stories. S hit the nail on the head. It’s not necessary to bog-down people with the details of aesthetic or surface experiences (saw, touched, tasted, drank, ate, consumed), but it is impertinent, for mind-explosions, to discuss what the aesthetic and surface means.

Just by chatting, I got to get some serious perspective, not just in the difference between the South and North, but into the beautiful workings of a great mind. I guess when you start having good conversations it ultimately, and almost always, leads to good people with brilliant thoughts. And, vice versa.

What I am starting to realize is that good conversations tend to flow when it’s one-on-one or in small groups. Topics tend to naturally drift from, let’s say, a personal-dislike of toast into a heartfelt recount of how mom almost burnt the house down while making toast. When people are in smaller groups, we tend to think more and process things and, even more beautifully, we tend to create things, all in the due process of figuring life out.

That is not to say that big groups are bad, in fact, they are necessary in order to take a breath and to socialize and to have general conversations, still good, about everyday things, hilarity preferred.

All I can say is that, this morning, despite waking up with an inability to fall back asleep, I realized that it’s better this way: To have written the stories and now can take time to just have real talks.



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