In Praise of Conversations and Other Words

A conversation can be an uplifting gift.  It can be a reason to reflect, a reason to change.  It can bring an invitation to life and to renewal and to something new and horrifying.

Everything can change after one.  Everything can look different, be different.  Words can be said that bring perspective and clarity.  And words can be said that hurt, slice, and do so much worse.

They are so much better than texts and voice mails and emails and postal mail.  They can be had over the internet and over the phone and in coffee shops and in cafes that serve the most delightful, and still healthy, meals.  They can start with intention and by surprise.  Like the chat I had this morning and the one I had this afternoon, both planned, both worth looking forward to.  Or the unexpected words I exchanged with Sam, when he called laughing because of the message I left him moments before.  We laughed and laughed and went back and forth about things we’ve known for years about each other but which came out in a few jokes and sarcastic lines.  One minute, two at the most, and the call brought a week’s worth of joy.

When you know the contentment that comes from listening to someone, it draws you back to that verbal rope.  You slow down.  You pay attention.  You still the world around you and settle on the person in front of you.  You care.  And such caring opens the world to you.

Conversations are the homes of happiness, if there is such a thing.  They are the places where real humanness lives.  They make silence full and significant.  They make loneliness the shining hole of maturity that it is.  They are so much more than words, but, in truth, there probably isn’t much more to life than words, is it?

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