relationship

relationship

Here's a poem I re-read frequently. As short and simple as it is, it helps me remember that nothing new can grow between us when we speak to each other from "the place where we are right."

More important, the poem leads me to ask what I think is a question worth pondering: How might things change if we began our political conversations not from our certainties, but from our "doubts and loves"?

I wish I’d had a conversation about the universe with my dad, but that wasn’t the kind of relationship we had.

Our connection was rooted in the physical, in the doing not in the saying. My dad had that same kind of link with the natural world. He didn’t much talk about the beauty in things, didn’t call out the colors of a fiery sunset or the way the dew sparkled on a downy rhododendron bud, though I know he enjoyed these things. Instead, he’d gaze out at the world with a look not unlike a smile simply soaking up the moment.

In the first season Revolution, a television series about a post-apocalyptic Earth where electrical devices cannot function, Maggie Foster (played by Anna Lise Philips) carries a defunct cell phone in hopes that one day the power will return and she will be able see the photos stored within of her lost children. The cell phone becomes her fetish, dark and inactive, yet charged with emotion, memory, and anticipation.

Late at night when I can’t sleep, the first thing I reach for is my computer. I read articles that I’ve bookmarked, fan fiction, or Google inane questions that I am too embarrassed to share. I’m hoping to distract myself, not necessarily from the fact that I can’t sleep, but from the reasons why I can’t sleep. It’s during this time that I feel the loneliest. (This poem by Jay Hopler explains it best.)

Some wisdom from the late Joseph Campbell to begin:

"A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think."

As a segue, what popular author do you think said the following in response to being asked about the one writer he could meet, dead or alive?

Courage is borne out of vulnerability, not strength. This finding of Brené Brown’s research on shame and "wholeheartedness" shook the perfectionist ground beneath her own feet. And now it’s inspiring millions to reconsider the way they live, parent, and navigate relations with members of the opposite gender.

A veteran Republican senator and Democratic economist are political bridge people who've brought differing approaches and shared love of country to generations of economic policy. In this tense political moment, they offer straight talk and wise perspective — and won’t let partisan gridlock have the last word. The final dialogue in our Civil Conversations Project.

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