conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Why we don’t know what we don’t know

with 8 comments

“As I was telling Mrs. Kirkistan…”

Our unguarded responses in conversation often point a way forward. It’s just that we don’t realize it until we’ve said it. And even then, it may take us recollecting that statement, in yet another conversation, to an entirely different person.

Sometimes we carry our own answers

Sometimes we carry our own answers

Example: sometimes I think writing is the stupidest thing to do on earth. This is not my standard line with writing students. But sometimes I swing low, like after I finish a big project and stop to calculate the return on (mental) investment.

Note to self: Never stop to calculate the mental ROI on a writing project. Just keep writing.

I was describing to Mrs. Kirkistan how it is I’ve come to believe writing is the stupidest way to spend your time—bar none. In that conversation, after several (verbal) paragraphs about all the frustrations of writing and why I’ve come to despise it, I found myself defending the process and telling of the delights of writing and what I want to do next.

How did I just travel from one conclusion to another within 90 seconds?

It’s almost like opening a water tap in a long vacant house: you let the water run until it is cold, then you drink. I know with writing you have to write a lot of dreck before you ever get the useful and true stuff. Same with verbal conversations: sometimes we just talk to fill up the space between us. And then sometimes the true thing just spoken—that thing that landed between us—is the very answer to an unasked question.

We unwittingly answer our own question.

But, this: we need to listen so we can hear what we already knew.

Moral: make sure there are some unguarded responses in each day. And listen to those unguarded responses to help sort what you don’t know.


Image credit: Kirk Livingston

8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. What is stupid? : ) Handsome is as handsome does. Stupid is as stupid does? Writing, talking, drawing – all forms of self-expression. And then some. The medium is the message, it was once said. I find your posts ultra thought provoking – and I feel, dare I say, stupid – for not being able to write a smart comment. LOL! : ) Seriously, though – it’s all good. It’s the engine.

    Sand Salt Moon

    August 31, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    • Cindy–thanks for the comment. The feeling passed and I’m back to writing…for better or worse. But every once in a while we all stop (right?) and say, “Wait. What am I doing?” I suppose we’re in such a transactional, mercantile culture, that without immediate results we start to question results. But…faith. And courage. Thanks for your smart and kind comment.


      August 31, 2015 at 8:02 pm

  2. If you think too much about anything nothing makes sense.
    And of course we all feel at times like we’re getting nowhere.
    But somehow…here we are!
    Your words always get the mind moving, so carry on.


    September 1, 2015 at 6:48 am

    • Thanks. I do appreciate that. I think it is a common thought.


      September 1, 2015 at 7:38 am

  3. Forgot again, Kerfe commenting.


    September 1, 2015 at 6:49 am

But wait--what do you think? Tell me:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: