“You say it’s very hard
To leave behind the life we knew,
But there’s no other way
And now it’s really up to you.” — Elton John, “Love Song”
Here’s an experiment: Imagine you’re waiting for your best friend.
Next, picture that tickly, glowing sensation in your chest. If a stranger walked by at that moment, you might say, “D’you know what I’m waiting for? My best friend ever!” The stranger might look at you weirdly, but you’re so full of joyful anticipation you don’t even notice them.
And let’s rope this in. The thing you’re waiting for has to be sentient; it can’t be an inanimate object, like a digital device, a date on the calendar, or a bucket full of money.
It could be a lover, or a person you’ve known for a long time — heck, it could even be your dog. (If your dog is your lover, immediately seek professional help.)
Now that we’ve determined it’s a person (or, okay, a pet), and you’re so excited you’re beside yourself with joy, the next thing is to imagine that moment your expected friend arrives, the very moment your eyes meet.
Imagine your surprise when you realize … they are you.
On the morning of Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, I had a dream.
So I wrote it down in my journal:
“A big party, a party with all the people I’ve known in my life … There’s a hint that my parents were there … It was a sprawling location, indoors and out, with food and drink tucked into corners and tables where people congregated, eating, drinking, and talking. I was drifting through and passing by people who I knew … but who didn’t recognize me. They just walked on past. [Old friend Dan Rogers, whose feet are pictured at left in top photo] had come early and was parked at a table filled with other people and didn’t seemed interested in mingling. I felt more like roaming around, sampling food and drink and seeing who was there. I recall feeling resentment at the people who passed by, or found people to talk to, or refused to mingle with the party. [I] was like, ‘Why the hell did you come to a party if you’re not going to talk with more people?’
My resentment turned to sadness when no one talked to me. The sadness got heavier and I wanted to leave the party altogether. Just before I woke up, while still within the dream, I had a thought-revelation: There is a better way to behave.
What if I asked people if I could join them at their table? What was behind my insistence that roaming the party was the only way to behave? Why was I being so shy and reticent? After all, I could tell stories and perhaps we could all sit in a circle and come up with word games and jokes — riffing on some topic to everyone’s amusement. Then I pictured how happy I’d feel doing that — laughing out loud and feeling others’ pleasure at my laughter. It reminded me of that photo … where I’m laughing at something and Mom is looking on, amused.”
I love this dream because of that revelation: What if we did things differently? What if we tried openness and inclusion? What if we welcomed new people into our lives as if they were old friends? And what if we adopted an attitude of curiosity rather than fear or indifference?
(Something I’ll go into in more detail in next week’s post, “Stargazing: A Primer.”)
Daytalking is purely about relationships, and valuing them them above all else. It’s connection, rapport, communication, good will, and generosity. At its core is joy, glee, exuberance, playfulness, anticipation, excitement, and yes, you might have been wondering … ah, love sweet love.
And that image of meeting your best friend? Well, until you’re at peace with yourself you can’t be a good partner, friend, or family member to another person. It’s basic, but I still struggle with it.
So I hope you’ll accept an extended hand and a “Pleased to meet you!”
Who knows what we can discover together that we might’ve never found on our own? Like the town where I live and work (Minneapolis), there’s music on the walls and in the hearts and minds of the people who live here. Medium is a good wall for hearts, minds, and music. When we’re making music together — Daytalking, as I call it — we can create amazing things.
So, c’mon over, sit the hell down, put your feet up, and stay awhile.
I’m glad you’re here.