The process of living seems to consist in coming to realize truths so ancient and simple, that if stated, they sound like barren platitudes. They cannot sound otherwise to those who have not had the relevant experience: that is why there is no real teaching of such truths possible and every generation starts from scratch…
C.S. Lewis, letter to Owen Barfield, 8 February (1939)
Tell me about your irrational fears and childhood dreams. Tell me about your scars and all the wounds that never seemed to heal inside of you. Tell me why you find comfort in the night sky and why you never walk away from fights. Tell me what you think about when you’re awake at 3 in the morning, and all the what ifs swimming in your head. Tell me what makes you laugh, and what made you cry in the past. Tell me about your first heartbreak and your last try at love. Tell me about your mother’s laugh, and the food she cooks for you. Tell me about your first fight with your father, and the first time you saw him cry. Tell me about the 5-year-old you were, and the 50-year-old you want to be. Don’t tell me your favorite color, tell me why it is. Don’t tell me where you grew up, tell me what it was like growing up there. Don’t tell me about yourself, tell me who you are. That’s the conversation I want to have and the things I want to hear.
a. gale, Can’t we skip the awkward small talk and dive down into the depths?