Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner


I suppose that anyone who has lived a while will in some ways be contradictory. I certainly am. I often will leave home to be around others, and hope I meet up with someone new or someone I already know, so I can have a nice conversation.

And yet. I have seen people I know and have avoided them. And when I have the opportunity to get together with people I know I often don't look forward to it. Tonight the chorale is getting together to kick off the fall semester. We are having a pot luck and getting our pix taken (a subtle way of correcting a continual problem with bad face-memory that most of us seem to have) and getting our music. It should be a good time to meet with folks and talk and so on. Yet I am looking at it as a chore.

I am making progress with the storage shed, but I am not spending long hours at it at a time. My next door neighbor is paring down the tree-shrubs to the bare minimum, trying to bring them back to healthy growth. There was a lot of dead wood in them and she's taking it all out. It's going to take forever at the rate she's going. And in that time when I go out to work on the shed she's there. I make casual conversation - and here, too, is an opportunity to develop a friendship - but I really don't care to continue.

Maybe this is all because I have had many awkward conversations that I saw from the beginning were destined to end nowhere. Because I don't have much in common with most of the rest of the world. Sure, I can talk about the usual stuff, but I don't want to. Yet at the same time I have sometimes been surprised at the odd paths people might take. Someone who may appear completely ordinary, whose experience does not seem in any way remarkable, may have a take on life that is fascinating. I love it when I find that in someone. But I can't always find it. When I talk to someone new, I try to find the key, the can opener, whatever, that gets inside, because that's what I really want to know about. I don't have great skills in finding that key, try as I might. I ask questions, leading from one topic to another, waiting for the eyes to light up, the face to change. I don't think everyone has a passion, though, or a secret love.

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