Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's all about me

It's all about me - but only in this blog. Elsewhere in my life, other people and other things take precedence. I listen. I smile. I cry. I work. I sleep in the recliner. I eat (a lot). I listen. I knit and crochet. I play on the computer. I listen.

What's really nice is when someone listens to me...when someone takes the time and interest to ask about me. Most of the people I know talk a lot about themselves, about their interests, about what happened in their day, about what they have accomplished during the day or during their lives. I don't talk fast. I don't interrupt (not often and with very few people). By the time I find an opening to speak, the conversation has gone far beyond me. So, I just don't talk.

That's why bits of my life just go unnoticed. Occasionally, I will talk during supper about who I saw at the shop or what new yarns arrived. Mostly, I smile and listen to others who speak faster and interrupt each other and talk loudly and trade stories. I'm interested in these things about which they talk. That's how I get most of my news and gossip.

However, conversation as an art is not part of this life. Take Facebook, for instance. We presume that others are interested in pieces of our lives. And, some people elicit more comments in response than others. We learn a lot about each other - unless we are quiet and just listen/read. Sometimes, it's hard to slip your thoughts into the flow of the world. Twitter, cell phones, text messages, blogs, Facebook, email, voice mail, IMs, and I'm sure new ways are being used that I don't know. The world is full of sound bytes and abbreviated word bytes and short takes.

I recently googled a friend named Mary Stuart, and a lot of the findings showed photos of the late Queen of Scotland. If your name is not Mary Stuart, I wonder how much you know of her story. If we use all these short forms of communications, what happens to our stories? We become like entries on a spreadsheet. You fill in the columns with information and PRESTO you are known. Stories are more than information; stories are metaphors and flashbacks to other persons' lives. Stories are universal. My thoughts and feelings at a particular time may fit your thoughts and feelings at a totally different kind of time in your life. Our concluding resolutions may be similar; our decisions may flow in totally opposite directions; but for a few moments, a few words, a few feelings, we were the same.

I like the stories - the facial expressions, the obvious feelings, the empathy and sympathy and antipathy, the way we are surprised by the storyline and the characters, and I like the endings that are usually filled with hope. I want you to hear my story, to see my grimace when I am sorting out what I felt and remembering what was said. I want you to laugh with me, cry with me, and be a part of my story.

A professor gave his students a one question final exam - pass or fail the course - some psychology thing. What is the name of the woman who comes in as you are leaving to clean this room? No one could answer.

What is your story? Does anyone know your name? Do you listen?


DanG said...

It's been a while since I commented on your blog. I check you out nearly every day but usually lurk in the background without comment. What you say today is right on. I found out that blogging could be a lonely pastime. You were my first commenter and I was excited that somebody was actually reading my stuff. In many ways blogging is much like a conversation, lots of talking and little listening. Peace be with you, my friend.

PENolan said...

I find your blog thoughtful and peaceful.

Fergie said...

I love your blog (-: Reading it brings me joy.
Thank you!