The Importance of Conversation and Connection

I am a shitty friend. I tend to neglect friendships by not keeping up, or arranging lunches or emailing regularly.

I don’t know why I do this, but I do.

When I was a kid, and people would compliment my mother on how good her children were, her stock response was, “They thrive on neglect.”

I don’t know about the “thrive” part, but she was certainly honest about the neglect.

I am always amazed and deeply grateful that the people in my life who I consider friends, who I value as friends, who nourish me and comfort me and make me laugh, who touch my heart and enrich my life beyond measure still want to talk to me, and see me, and seek me out, and hang with me even though I neglect them.

I want to tell them I’m sorry. I want to repent my shitty friend ways. I want them to know how much I appreciate their generosity in the face of my stinginess. I want them to believe that I love them even though lots of times they don’t really feel it due to the way I act, or don’t act, in feeding the friendship.

I am grateful that they don’t die as friends a result of my neglect.

I just spent four and a half hours talking to a woman who only recently has become a friend. We met for dinner at the local brewpub at 6 pm and didn’t stop talking until 10:30 and we could have gone on way longer than that but I had to get home and post this blog before the clock struck midnight in order to preserve my streak.

The  conversation we had was a meditation, a sacrament. I felt heard and I heard. I felt seen and I saw. I felt understood and I understood in return. The food came, the food was taken away. The waitress brought the check and it was ignored. The intensity of the conversational energy was so intense that, even though I saw people I knew, they didn’t approach to say hello. (One of them slipped me a note on his way to the bathroom to say “hi,” that’s how intense the conversational vortex was.)

Towards the end of the night when the kitchen was closed, and the staff was cleaning up, and there were just a few people left, the intensity subsided enough that a waitress who I love dared to venture over timidly, and then my trainer paid a visit, but that happened way later. In the heaviest of the conversational force-field, there was no restaurant, no other people. There was just dialogue.

Sometimes I feel lonely in this town. Who am I kidding? MOST of the time I feel lonely and alienated here. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: this is not my tribe.

And while it is true that the dominant and ruling tribe here does not align with my values or my politics, there ARE people with whom I share a worldview and who I feel deeply connected to. These people save me. They save my sanity. They mitigate my loneliness. I would miss them if they moved and I couldn’t sit and have dinner with them and just talk for hours.

If they neglected me, I would not thrive.

I would wither.

Namaste, dear ones.

 

The Yoga Lounge

Just as the last student left my Happy Hour Yoga class this evening, my daughter called from Portland, OR.  I was just finishing up at my desk in the lounge, so it was perfect timing.  I kicked back into one of the comfy Poang chairs in the lounge and had good long chat with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

In one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.  Here, for anybody who has never been to my studio, is the lounge where people congregate before and after class (and sometimes waaaay after class, to have great conversations, or to just shoot the breeze.

Yoga Lounge

The studio itself is in the next room and that is where all the transformational magic really happens. But a lot of good times have been spent in this room, too.  If you’ve never visited, you should.  We’ll drink tea, sink into the Poang’s, put our feet up, and just chill.

Happy Friday, everyone!