One of the most necessary things in the world is conversation. One of the most engaging things is conversation between people with a common ground, and an openness to permit the free flow of ideas between both persons.
I have been so focused on this in the months since I stopped posting regularly on LJ. When I wanted to think big thoughts, when I wanted to expand my mind, when I wanted to get out the thoughts in my head, I sought out someone to talk to. Most often it was collie13
, or one of my other friends, those I spoke to regularly. Although I admit, it was more from a desire of instant gratification rather than necessarily craving more social contact: I have always had a limit on how much social contact I need on a regular basis. I got away from writing, feeling that I had nothing to say, nothing to ask, that could not be said in person.
Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation. The circumstances are complex: I'll sum up by saying that I had driven my mother out to see longtime family friends, M and D. D is in her final days (cancer), and we came up to show support for them. As it turns out, there were many people around, including my father, family members, and friends and co-workers. People had been coming in and out for a few days, now. We didn't get to connect with M and D as much as we'd hoped (D was asleep and not up to talking anyway, and M was being pulled in all sorts of directions), but my mother and I did have an engaging discourse with M's brother, P.
P's a fairly serene fellow. His smile and his simple security, I think, would be enough to calm anyone, make them feel better. He connected with my mother with ease, the two of them very much kindred spirits. Even myself, who is very different from my mother in fundamental ways, found P very easy to talk to; it was not the first time we'd met, but it had been a long time since we'd talked, and certainly not with the weight and wisdom that I'd acquired over the last eight years.
He intuited, after only a little conversation, that yes, I am a writer, although it had been a long time since I'd put my thoughts to media (save for a very few instances as resulted from gaming, laying out a fictional backdrop for a new character). And I confessed my reticence in writing, recently, which he accepted with aplomb.
"When you're writing, you're a writer." he said to me. "When you're not, you're something else. There's nothing wrong with that, but the writer is still in you, waiting to surface again when you need him." (I paraphrase, but the sentiment is close enough)
P's nature is one of gentleness and understanding, and it's very easy to get caught up in that. Moreover, our ongoing conversation did not feel like I only the student, and he was only the teacher. We both learned, and both taught: we both had ideas and concepts to bring to the table, and both came away richer for it.
No less because it encouraged me to write this entry about our encounter, and will, perhaps, be the spark to the candle again, encouraging me to voice my thoughts once more. I forget that as a writer, I sometimes need to express myself this way...that will never change. The writer will always be inside me, will always be an integral means of expressing myself.
And I will be patient with myself, and not get down on myself when I do not write. The writer's time will come again.