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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dangling Conversations

Lost in the dangling conversation and the superficial sighs in the borders of our lives.~ Paul Simon, The Dangling Conversation, Simon and Garfunkel

The quote above is from a song about a relationship that has gone stale and silent between two people, where conversation has become rare, and when it does occur is banal and empty.  It's a sad song, a song of quiet resign, thinly, yet civilly, hiding deep despair.  The song is about two people, but sometimes I wonder if perhaps we as individuals and as a culture are trapped in too many dangling conversations.

When was the last time you had an actual verbal exchange, much less conversation, with someone, beyond tweets, texts, and email?  Do we even have conversations any more?

I don't want to come across as an old fogie who is against technology and modem means of communication.  Hopefully, those who know me know this is not the case.  However, here recently I do get the feeling that so much is missing in our lives because we don't have conversations by talking, listening, and seeing facial expressions and gestures. I've also noticed more and more that too many people, intelligent, educated people, (and I include myself here) have trouble stringing together words to express thoughts and feelings.

Maybe one aspect of this is that many of us rarely take time to sit with ourselves to know what our thoughts and feelings actually are.  Are we so busy gathering information and not taking time to process it that we simply become conduit for opinions, beliefs, and perspectives that are not really our own?

Another dilemma of dangling conversations is that they can only dangle for so long before something is said that is too often banal or hurtful.  It is true that nature abhors a vacuum.  Words left unsaid and feelings not expressed create vacuums that are usually filled with conjecture, prejudice, pride, misunderstanding, and anxiety, all leading to fear, anger, and violence.

What do we do about the dangling conversations of our lives?  It seems to me there is really only one course of action and that is to have real conversations with each other about "things that really matter" using "words that must be said."

So - Have a conversation with someone today, and then tomorrow another with someone else, and then another, and another, and...        



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