I find beauty in conversation. I can get lost in conversation – time slips by in a breath, if you let it. You get a bunch of folk talking together well – really pushing each other to think; laughing kindly together, disagreeing with each other, whilst still looking at each other with appreciation, not malevolence…when that happens? Woah. It’s kind of breathtaking…..energy, purpose, stuff happening…. Wow.
Here, in these dialogues, there is Connection. Relationship. Kinship. Fluidity. Understanding. At their best, these conversations contain empathy, expansiveness, awareness of the bigger world, a will for a greater good. At their worst, these conversations contain collusion, power plays, small thinking, greediness and rigidity of thought…..
Ah. Hold up. Dialogue is meant to be a “good” thing……. Huh?
Well… what I said dialogue is a beautiful thing – and that’s kind of in the eye of the beholder.. Lao –tzu (he of Tao Te Ching fame, which no, I haven’t read in depth, sorry) sums up my point rather better than I can:
“All can see beauty only as beauty because there is also ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil”
Dialogue happens in the real world. It happens in relation between you, me, the people around us, the world we exist in. It can be fulfilling, luscious, rambling, colourful and gorgeous. It can be stark, quiet, contained and functional. It can be challenging, brusque and bruising. It can be supportive, soothing and calm. Any of these may be beautiful to you. Any may be ugly. Unless we are in good relationship to one another, unless I pay attention to you and you to me, unless I seek to understand where you’re coming from and you do me the same service, how will we know what each others’ beautiful or ugly or good or bad looks like? How can we understand the edges of our tolerance or where our prejudices lie?
My point? That dialogue isn’t just about talking. In fact, based on the blogs written this week, I can’t help noticing that the talking part is tiny.. It’s how your talking and others’ talking… and the environment you are talking together in…. and the mood you bring…. and the beliefs you hold…. and the culture you come from….. and the culture you work in….and the patterns you generate…. and a vast array of other factors all morph together until you offer a gesture or a response to someone else.
How you are in dialogue is an experience between you and the world you live in. It reflects your relationship to the world.
Tell me there isn’t something beautiful in that?
And in this is an invitation – fuchsiablue is running two 2-day workshops on 5th & 6th Feb and 20th & 21st March this year designed to encourage attendees to think well and talk well together.
If you are interested, please sign up – if you’re not, please pass this on to someone who might be – and no matter what, I hope you have enjoyed the blogs over the past few days.
This image was taken at dawn at Ashridge in August on a day I was feeling a bit lost. It captures a second where something bigger and more gorgeous captured my attention and put the world in perspective.