Last night I posted an excerpt from the television series, Californication, on Instagram. The full scene, seen here, more accurately contextualizes the quote. In it, fictional character Hank Moody narrates a letter he wrote to sweetheart Karen van der Beek. It’s a big bad world full of twists and turns, and people have a way of blinking and missing the moment. The moment that could have changed everything. I don’t know what’s going on with us and I can’t tell you why you should waste a leap of faith on the likes of me. But damn you smell good, like home, and you make excellent coffee - that’s got to count for something, right? Call me! It resonated with me, and as all good art, it got me thinking. While I was sleeping, the cogs of my subconscious churned pondering these words, and this morning my discombobulated assembly line of thought spit something out on paper. Here that something is: I've been, for the most part, devoid of good conversation for some time. In both receiving it, and giving it. So much so, that the meaningful dialogue I do happen to stumble my way into, is so glaringly obvious - an endorphin-loaded rush, filling some kind of deep-seated intellectual void. It's a drug, really. But what defines a good conversation? Well, that's subjective, but generally good banter is intelligently playful, challenging, witty, honest and unfathomably exciting - most of all, though, it is vulnerable. I've been grappling with this idea of vulnerability, and I'm learning that it's really at the heart of all good conversation. We seem to be so concerned with polite and safe conversational pieces, that we avoid respectful disagreeance or raw emotion at all costs. Sometimes even at the expense of an otherwise fruitful relationship or friendship. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, Marriage is a long conversation. When marrying you should ask yourself this question: do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman into your old age? Everything else in a marriage is transitory, but most of the time that you're together will be devoted to conversation. I've often looked at my partners through the lens of this quote, and found it extremely telling. Recording artist Miguel reflected a similar sentiment in a recent interview for Spotify Sessions. I like the idea of being upfront and honest from the onset of a relationship. [...] Just be real. If you're crazy, just tell me you're crazy, and I can accept that. [...] Being upfront and honest really goes a long way. Hank Moody may be a loathsome, self-centred, indulgent drunk, but his note to Karen is undeniably pure. It is vulnerable. Let’s all bring a little more Hank into our own conversations.
APRIL 22, 2016