One Good Conversation

One Good Conversation

I recently read that Ralph Waldo Emerson apparently said, “I would walk one hundred miles in a snowstorm to have one good conversation.” 

So would I. 

Conversation is what connects, and inspires, and restores. A good conversation creates the ground for people to discover what they think, wrestle with what other people think, and expand everyone’s thinking  to insights beyond where they began. 

I came upon the Emerson quote in The Art of Pilgrimage: A Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred by Phil Cousineau Really, a guide to finding the sacred in every moment, including those moments when we pause, listen, share, connect, perhaps with strangers, perhaps with familiars we haven’t checked in with for a while, perhaps with ourselves, if we haven’t checked in for a while. 

Last week I let folks know that I would be winding down posting these resources by July, 2023. (Oh my goodness, thank you for the warmth and generosity of acknowledgements pouring in! Deep, deep gratitude.) These posts have been my way of having a particular form of conversation for the last 14 years. (They will be archived on the website forever.) As were the conversations with many colleagues, experts in one way or another on resilience, in one form or another. (Also archived on the website forever.)

If I had the tech savvy and the ambition, I would consider continuing these conversations through podcasts (I’ve recorded many but never hosted my own.) Sigh. I’m truly settling into the ease and spaciousness of my retirement-Renaissance. I found this quote on the way to the quotes in the link box for this post:

Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays, good company, good conversation – what are they? They are the happiest people in the world.

– William Lyon Phelps

I had to look up who William Lyon Phelps was, apparently a very popular and inspiring professor of literature at Yale University, for decades. Happy is not a word I use or aspire to lightly, but contentment is. And there is increasing contentment in continuing to have the conversations I do have, (thank you, Zoom, saving me from the one hundred miles in a snowstorm.) 

And for your continued conversations, I’ll recommend these three favorite podcasts that I do listen to, a lot, staying connected and expanding my thinking. 

Being Well, with my good friend and colleague, Rick Hanson, who helped launch so many of my own conversations with the world

The Ezra Klein Show, with one of the best mind-expanding minds on the planet today.

On Being with Krista Tippett, who goes gently into the deepest dives of wisdom, philosophy, and poetry.

Each person’s life is lived as a series of conversations. – Deborah Tannen

May the conversations continue…

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