Contact 101

You were lovely at lunch

We talked and you spoke and it didn’t hurt

we didn’t agree completely

It was O.K.

You didn’t judge me

I didn’t give enough to judge

in the other direction

but you still loved me

I could see it in your time

your attention

looking in my eyes as you spoke

you unchained a part of my world

gave me dignity

played out the Shakespearean role

I had for myself in my brain

I watched myself be

a very likeable me

reached out my hand and

clasped yours before I left

contact 101

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7 thoughts on “Contact 101”

  1. I struggle with this, probably because the contact about which this speaks is very well illustrated in the style of stanza and expression of thought, and it’s hard for me to be so brief as to have a conversation which survives the general parameters in this manner. To hold back, to give only what is necessary to the health of the conversation, to nurse the fragility of egos both foreign and domestic…it is all a tenuous balance that I can recognize, and indeed I can even see what is necessary to preserve it, but it is against my nature to do anything half-way, even for a healthier outcome. If I’m going to say something, I’ll usually say all of it, which is not to say I am willfully inconsiderate. As you know, consideration is something I pride in myself very highly, but if I cannot say all of what I need, I usually say nothing almost instinctively.

    This means that I tend to be either verbose or silent, and is unhealthy in the pursuit of delicacy that is necessary for acquaintance or light relationship.

  2. It would be a good idea for me to preface this poetry with the information that indicates that I had, on a prior occasion, laid out some of my own “devil’s advocate” musings. This previous experience contributed to my own self-understanding that it was probably not necessary for me to continue to expound on them, to defend them in any way, or to try to convince someone else of the wisdom of them.

    As a general reply to your comment (which I thank you for) I think of it less as acquaintance or light relationship, and more of a dance If one has already publicly aired at least a semblance of her deeper thoughts with someone on an another occasion and she still maintains a relationship that is worth having with said person, she may want to handle it from that point in a more subtle manner, making sure she walks in the other persons shoes enough during the conversation so that her empathy is clear.

    My first instinct is that you may view this on a rather shallow level. It is less of that and more of an exercise in understanding others as completely as possible, while being diplomatic in giving what is important to you. It is learning to not be easily offended, but reflective while actually still giving of yourself and your opinions. My sense, for me, is that these are the kinds of relationships that are as important as any other kind, in that contact with others constantly has an effect on both people; each person implicitly or explicitly decides what that effect will be, but some of the strongest effects come from what otherwise might be thought of as being too light or insignificant to matter. I believe that these can be some of the strongest bonds over time as each person has the potential to really learn more from the other one, and to create an open space over time for each person to learn to treat the other with empathy while sharing thoughts.

    I like what you say about egos both foreign and domestic – to me this is a true form of diplomacy that doesn’t deny where I stand, but doesn’t feel it necessary to push it.

  3. Just one more thing, Dr J. I read the last sentence you wrote and it reminded me so much of Mr. Darcy (as handsomely played by one Mr. Colin Firth) that it brought a smile to my face. Definitely took me back to Jane Austen’s day and way of speaking. Beautiful! 🙂

    1. “I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,’ said Darcy, “of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.”
      ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

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