Monday, August 25, 2008

A mentionable thought

It is a luxury of the academic world to be able to have "cocktail conversations" about life, love and other questions that usually, as Tennyson wrote, "rust unburnish'd" without timely buffing and rumination.

These big questions of a higher nature are not detached from the truth of our lives, our daily preoccupations and scurryings about. Rather these questions, these higher questions begin to augur into the foundation of each "Why?" or "How?".

A few days ago, a friend noted that for once he understood the lyrics to a popular song. I think many of us have had this experience. A popular song with catchy words gets lodged as a constant repeat in your head. The words pass by with the notes, but they don't go quite deep enough for you to think about them, to understand their meaning. Occasionally, however, a well-written phrase may fall between the superficial cracks in you mind, and the depth is astounding.

The particular phrase my friend noted was "live like today never happened before". So, together we considered the possible meanings/implications of such a message.

"I just love the outlook it invites," I said. "It asks the listener to allow each day to be new, unique and inviting."

"Yeah and if you apply it to relationships," my friend responded, "It tells us that we should let each person be who they are, not forcing them to be who they were to us yesterday or the last time we spoke with them. We should approach each interaction expecting to be surprised by the newness of each person."

This is how such conversations usually begin. How they end is sometimes equally gripping.

Once after a conversation, my dialogue partner responded, "I shouldn't say this, but this was like one of those conversations you have when you are high, and you confuse yourself with your own words."