“Like father, like son.” If that’s true, I have inherited my father’s enjoyment of shared conversations with friends and colleagues. (My mother’s descriptive noun for him was Schnatterpeter—a Low German phrase meaning something like “one who likes to talk with others about relatively ordinary matters, a chatterbox.”)
To the consternation of those around me, when I schnatter, I don’t always keep track of the time I am spending in those chats. (My family will attest to that fact!) From the outside, these ongoing exchanges may seem like inconsequential natterings at best, and time-wasting chit-chat at their worst. I understand this viewpoint—nothing much seems to come from these exchanges.
In these days of semi-isolation, though, I’m a bit nostalgic for the times in the past when those conversations were a normal part of life. (My daily carpool commute partners are a wonderful memory.) Harmful gossip was washed out, and “ain’t-it-awful” was discouraged. We didn’t feel the burden of purpose or decision-making. Those times of verbal meandering gave me pleasure in the presence of friends, colleagues and family members. The end results included strong camaraderie, enduring trust and lively encouragement. When those conversations ranged wildly, I often found helpful grist for my writing-mill, sparks of creative urgings that I could never have conjured up by myself.
“I just want to talk with someone” may press on your spirit during these days of separation. In case you’re sensing what I’ve described here, don’t feel embarrassed for those thoughts, or imagine that you’re the only one thinking that way. These sentiments might become motivation for us to reach out to others who may harbor the same emotions. Another possibility: Our conversations might also be another kind of shared prayer!
So, let’s keep talking—it may be good for our souls!