Saturday, August 24, 2013

How Wonderful To Not Talk

A conversation between CJ and Danny in the show West Wing:

"You know when I came over Wednesday night and it was late and we didn't really talk? We just--"

"I have a vague recollection."

"Did that make you feel bad?

"Bad in a-- in a what?"

"You know-- used."

"For my body?"

"Something like that."

"I'll work through it."

"You sure?"

"It happens. Women want me."

"It's just, I know we have a lot to talk about and I don't want to leapfrog any of it but it was kind of wonderful to just--"

"Not talk."

"Not even a little."

They laugh.

"You want to do it again tonight, don't you."

"I really do."

"I'll leave the door open."

From West Wing
"Requiem", Season 7, Episode 18


Monday, August 19, 2013

Silence As Truth

Silences can wound as surely as the twisting lash, the poet Sadiq Khan once wrote. But sometimes, being silent is the only way to tell the truth.

Excerpt from Shantaram
by Gregory David Roberts


Thursday, August 1, 2013


My father recently replied to an email I'd written weeks before; as to the late reply, he said that he was confused about the issue of "family connectedness" I'd mentioned. He didn't explain his confusion, but I suspect that he wonders whether I've inherited from him a tendency to be less connected.

This is a subject I've pondered in various ways throughout the years. A movie I watched a few months ago caused me to revisit the subject in a new light. The movie, "Giant Mechanical Man", depicts a culture in which people, in general, are difficult to connect with. Everyone wears earbuds; they listen to material on electronic gadgets rather than to anyone else, and no one is available for others.

What I realized while watching is: that's me. I listen to audiobooks every day. I walk to work with earbuds nestled in, and I regularly go out to restaurants while listening to stories, too. I even listen to stories while grocery shopping, and while I'm out running. I'm not doing it to avoid others, yet I wonder whether it's a habit that aids in my tendency to be less connected. Technology is the new evil because it separates us; on the other hand, it's nothing new that being separate is "worrisome."

Maybe I should make myself available to friends and family more often than I do, but I don't think I have a responsibility to make myself available to the entire world. If someone wants to talk with me, I'm not going to avoid them. I welcome it. I'm not trying to ignore people, nor am I callous. While I'm not motivated to create or maintain as many as others might like, I do desire meaningful connections. I may want fewer, but the deeper they are the better.

In a way, I find that it helps that I listen to stories. It helps me to understand myself and the world. It gives me a way to connect with others -- with something that I care about: good stories. And what's the point in sharing stuff unless I care about it?

What's the point in being connected unless I mean it?