I wonder about inane conversations. Those that touch on subjects like zombies, polar vortexes, vampires, and whatever as though there is great significance.
Really, what is the purpose? Is it for communicating when we don’t have other things to say but really want to say something? I get that. Sure. We do it all the time on facebook when we “like” wry wit and a good food picture but pass on by on good, creative writing and thinking.
Why do you pass on by? What goes on in your stomach as you ponder how much time you will give to this meaningful writing or that ponder-producing conversation?
What I really want to encourage is connection. And inane conversations won’t get us there.
Last weekend Kurt and I attended a Chinese Tea Ceremony. As the tea guide walked us through various types of tea, tea pots, tastes, stories of southern California….we found a method of connecting that only requires presence. Well, and tea leaves and water, a proper pot (clay or ceramic depends on the tea) and of course something beautifully simple to sip from.
There is a process to this ceremony, that I only sort of half know. It involves getting the water to the right temp (180 for white and greens, 205 for darker oolongs, black, and pu erh), stuffing the tiny teapots with the quality leaves, and pouring the water not only INTO the teapot but ONTO the teapot. Its a watery mess, so always have your tray involved. The tea is poured from the small pots into a sharing pot so everyone enjoys the same brewing strength.
There are many moments and steps in the tea ceremony. None need words. All need attention. Each cup placement, pour process, tea appreciation brings blessing and honor to the guests and the host. This process allows for connecting with those you are with at deep levels, and fosters meaningful conversations to come.
We don’t have to have the cute tiny clay snifter cups or the ancient teapot made from a certain rock to connect without words but with attention.
We simply need the attention and the desire to connect.
The desire to connect. I think this is the piece that drives inane conversations. We talk inanely because we want to AVOID CONNECTION. We talk inanely because we DESIRE TO CONNECT but haven’t a clue how to do so.
Kurt and I do well when we use fewer words. When we can hold hands. When we drive in a car together. Dearest friends will allow space for meaningful eye connection….soul connection….in the midst of a public lunch or coffee time. Silence descends once the souls of the gathered have settled into shared space and remember one another.
Please, pay attention to your conversations. Why are you engaged? What are you avoiding or what is your truest desire? If you wish to connect but keep talking about how to survive the zombie apocalypse…..
- take a big-healing-pause-producing breath…
- while looking at the person you wish to connect with…
- and say “Can we change the subject? I’d rather know how you are.”
And go from there.
Connection. It is what will save us in the end.
Peace & Joy
….thinking of the pu erh tea that Turner brought back in traditional fermented brick form from the Yunan Province when he lived in China. We drink it like it is black gold, and always lift a glass to Turner’s health.