Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Conversations & Correspondence

We talk about some stuff. Other stuff you only get to find out by spending time together. It is very hard to put things into words. Words don't even mean the same things to different people. They mean the connections they evoke. Those connections build up over time. They build through friendships. Through experiences. Through mistakes. Through successes. Some of what binds us together can't be communicated.

Part of what I would like to do with this blog is write about the real experiences of real people. Because communication is so hard, we often only hear from the writers. The artists. The musicians. There is a lot of untapped wisdom in the people who tend to just get on with it. No songs. No dances. No mess. No fuss. It would be a pity if our stories were only those of the singers and dancers.

I invite two types of contributions to this blog. If you would like to write your own post, that would be great (trevorjohnblack@gmail.com). The alternative is a Guest Conversation. In these, I write 100 words, then you do, then I do. We each have five turns. The fun bit is that we aim to build on what the other person has said 'Theatre Sport' style. 100 words isn't that intimidating, and because we work together, it helps get over the block of having to think of something worthwhile to say in advance. I am not a big believer in waiting for inspiration. Inspiration comes by starting. Inspiration is a habit.

Another block I am very aware of is the fear of doing things in public. We can do conversations that we don't publish. Ideally through a walk and talk, but old school correspondence works. Maybe even by snail mail. I work through ideas best in conversation. Particularly with someone who I trust. Where I can say something and see how it fits. I don't like a 'devil's advocate' approach where people actively try tear down what others are saying. I like constructive engagement. Where you take what people say and see what interesting questions are in there. What words clearly mean different things? What experiences lie behind those meanings? Where we listen.

Walking and Talking in Nature

One of the best parts of being human is that we get to learn together. We can tap into the collective experiences we have had. We can feel mistakes without making them. We can get emotionally involved with stories in a way that makes us feel like we had actually lived them. 

Life is a shared story.


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