Sunday, February 22, 2009

Conversation Art

One of my favorite things is a great, meandering, deep, and energizing conversation. I have countless experiences of being totally exhausted and then starting a conversation with somebody that takes my mind fun and interesting places and lasts 2 hours but in a weird time does not exist vacuum and emerging on the other side totally awake and alert with thriving passion for life. And I know I'm not the only person with such appreciation for great conversations. Movies have been made about them. Most notably is "My Dinner with Andre" because they literally never leave their table, but it completely captures how riveting a conversation can be and how it can take the participants on an unexpected journey.

More recently was "Before Sunrise" and it's sequel "Before Sunset." I remember my first time seeing "Before Sunrise" in the mid 90's. I was captivated. I thought it was brilliant in that it not only captured the natural flow of conversation, but did so while taking the viewer on such a fascinating visual journey...which was always in the background of the riveting conversation. There's no real drama, yet it ends in suspense. Will they meet again 6 months later? Will they get married? Why didn't they exchange phone numbers or addresses? Yet, for me, ALL of that was secondary to the beauty of the conversation itself. The questions, the clarifications, the interruptions that aren't perceived as rude, the randomness, and the revelations.

"Before Sunset" is the sequel that takes place 9 years later. I loved it just as much as "Before Sunrise" because the love of a great conversation was NOT abandoned in an attempt to answer all those questions that were pending. As a matter of fact it does a good job of leaving us wondering because Jesse and Celine are in the midst of getting reacquainted and wondering themselves. They don't talk specifically about their wonderings until the limo ride towards the end, but it's in the ebb and flow of their conversation. It's unspoken yet always there in what they are not saying or how they are interacting and a bit laced with fear of what the other really thinks about that night 9 years earlier. I think anyone who has run into or reconnected with a former romance can relate to that aspect of their conversation. In fact they don't even discuss his wife and child for what I thought was too long, yet I get it. I'm sure I've behaved that way myself...more interested in the reconnection with a friend than with the truth of our current reality.

I recently posted my status on FaceBook as "Emily is thinking sometimes FaceBook seems like an excerpt from The Time Traveller's Wife" because of that phenomenon. Like reconnecting with someone from 10, 20, or in one case 30 years ago (4th grade crush)- transports me to that time and place in a unique way. Sure, I want to know if they are married, have kids, what they are doing for a living...but not as much as I want to linger in the experience of the reconnection and all it conjures in my memory and wondering if their memories are similar. And I love the written conversations that happen in the process- even if they are brief and wall to wall. I think what I love is that it reminds me of the beautiful, meaningful, and meandering conversations I've had with that person in the past. The thing I love about great conversations is the way a friendship blossoms within the conversation. Plus, great conversations are always a masterful blend of Truth and Grace relayed through an ever present moment in a relationship. And then I long for more of those now with current friends or with a player to be named later...maybe a stranger I meet on a train on my way to Vienna.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lyrics du Jour- All About It

I became a fan of The Getaway People when I saw them play for free at Miami University almost 10 years ago (say it Stacie & Jerren: Four times for FREE!). They put on such fun show that I purchased two of their CD's on the spot. I love the lyrics of most of their songs, especially "Does My Color Scare You" which addresses racism. But today I share the lyrics of "All About It" in response to a post Donald Miller did on his blog ( about the Mac vs. PC ads and how we allow ourselves to be swayed into thinking something is cool or sexy based on marketing. Reading the almost 90 comments left by his readers made me think of this song.

Can't ride no skateboard to save my life, but it don't bother me no
Cause I got my own thing and I do it in my own time
If me and my crew don't bother you why do you bother with bothering me too
Why be cruel to your own kind?

Cause its all about the hizao, and the grizzle, the hammer and the chizzle
That makes you cool and popular, but who needs popular?

Don't you know I'm about it 'bout it baby?
Don't you know I'm about it 'bout it baby?
Don't you know I'm about it 'bout it baby?
I'm about as 'bout it 'bout it as anyone could ever be

Ain't got no piercings to show for myself, cause my nipples are free
To be what ever they want to be without no pressure - follow the leader
I don't care about your tribal connections which you lied about
Which really came out of a knitting pattern from your mamma's old magazines

Cause its all about being in the right place following the rat race
That makes you cool and popular, but who is popular?

Don't you know I'm about it 'bout it baby?
Don't you know I'm about it 'bout it baby?
Don't you know I'm about it 'bout it baby?
I'm about as 'bout it 'bout it as anyone could ever be

Not only are these lyrics hilarious and fun...but full of Truth and Grace. God created us and loves each of us for who we are...not whether we look cool or use the right brands. These lyrics remind me to rejoice in who I am.