I miss intellectual conversation and dialogue. I used to love discussions in some of my college courses and would leave class absolutely high from the stimulating interaction. Even now I find myself a little overeager at times to jump into actual discussions I overhear in random settings, almost as if I crave that high again. I don’t mean talking about the superficial things, but the actual exchanging of ideas.
I think this is why I write.
Unlike those women with their cell connected to their head, I hate the telephone and use it only when necessary. When it comes to face-to-face communication I am great in social situations where I can plan ahead and remain fairly anonymous, yet slightly awkward in day-to-day interactions with acquaintances. Unless I know you well or not at all, I tend to get insecure and kind of weird.
Before you say anything, hear me out…
Maybe it’s a confidence thing, as with writing I have the time to self-edit a bit and make sure that I’m communicating what I want to say—even if it’s just an e-mail or text message. This gives me time to put aside the impulsive reaction and respond appropriately, not so off the cuff. When put on the spot, I tend to fumble a bit more and awkwardly reply. I always want to “backspace” and start over, so to speak, including instead something more witty or wise.
No, wait, let me finish…
Clare had a very insightful post on listening that got me thinking about my own need to be heard. The thing is, I don’t think that people really listen to me when I talk most of the time. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people don’t really know how to listen. Many people I deal with on a daily basis ask questions without waiting for the answer and launching into an aside of their own. Whether intentional or not, they dominate the conversation (used loosely) and even though I’m not shy (used loosely,) there are times I actual wonder if I spoke out loud or if it was only in my head, as the reaction is the same.
Hold on, I’m almost done…
I think this need to be heard is normal, but it’s also a bit frustrating. As much as I love her, my mom is the worst. I can literally be talking about one thing and she will interrupt me with something completely unrelated without missing a beat. I listen, I nod, I ask questions because I know that’s how she is. I play my role and she plays hers — relative peace is kept. But once in awhile I would like to have someone actually listen to what I have to say instead of going through the motions, adding interjections and quickly moving on to other topics.
I think this is why I write.
When I write, I can communicate without getting cut off. Writing is one way I can guarantee that at least one part of my discussion will be complete and the topic won’t get shifted to something completely unrelated, the focus momentarily skewed. I have a lot to say—a lot of worthy things to say—and you are forced to read it through with no retort (insert evil laugh here…muwahh-ha-ha.)
You may turn the page or click off the screen, but at least I know I’ve “said” my piece and did what I wanted to do. It may not spark intellectual conversation and dialogue, but it’s one way I can try (with backspace/delete at the ready, of course.)
If you still have an interest in art, check out the current Top 25 on the ArtPrize website. I was able to visit some venues this weekend and look forward to hitting some more this week. While I don’t “get” a lot of it, I respect the artist’s efforts. They’re communicating—uninterrupted—through their art.
That I get.