The Challenge of the Complicated Conversation

Christening the Ship


Welcome aboard! This is inauguration of what I think is a really exciting idea: the challenge of the complicated conversation. As I say on the Home page, this was inspired by Mikhail Baryshnikov and the commencement speech he gave some time ago. His words resonated with me and I felt compelled to start this blog, to reach out and begin the discussions we need to have–all of us.

Life has a fair number of “tough” topics: politics, religion, sex. We’re in the process of a national debate on things like a woman’s right to make medical decisions for her own body or what do we do about the growing inequality of wealth–already way out of kilter and just getting worse. So this blog will certainly be about current events, the things we find “trending” in our Facebook feed or on Twitter.

It will also be about teaching the youngsters among my readers about history, the way things happened “back in my day” and how that is the same, or different, than today. As the saying goes, “Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We look back over the years to understand how we got here–and that’s worth talking about.

But I do not intend to limit this blog to just current events and history lessons. I look forward to other types of complicated conversations–like the ones about gender identity, chronic illness, mental illness, and the big one that no one really wants to talk about: Death. Having worked with the geriatric population, seen death many times…I can tell you that there are things worse than death. Sometimes, “Death is only the beginning.” It’s a conversation that we need to have, to remove the fears and misconceptions about it. The same with mental illness–talk about it to remove the stigma.

So I anticipate some lively threads! As this is my debuting blog, I am just setting the chairs, making sure everyone has drinks, getting ready for the conversations that will follow. I can warn you right now–I do not promise either consistency in topic or frequency of posting. But I was nudged into getting this (finally) up and public by the courageous change of careers from my favorite blog author–gave up his day job and is now a fully independent free lance writer. And he made a great point–treat writing as a job. Get up in the morning, knowing that you will spend a certain amount of time each day writing. It doesn’t matter if you end up trashing 3/4 of it later on…it’s impossible to produce anything of worth if you don’t even get your thoughts down on paper. (Or in this case, down in cyberspace, saved to the hard drive.)

I already have a lot I’d like to share–but if you have a particular subject you’d like to see covered here, don’t hesitate to leave those suggestions in the comments below. We can get to it eventually, promise.

It is my hope (and perhaps one of the driving reasons I am doing this) that our conversations will (of course) simplify the complicated and messy lives we have–and perhaps provide a reason to start your own activism in whatever speaks to you. At the very least I want these conversations to be thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, shockwaves to destroy complacency and apathy. Too many of us have lost ourselves, the real life we are supposed to be living, given up for a 9 to 5 and the “American Dream” (that is actually a lie). I want our interactions to be a wake up call, a thought provoking session that leads to provoking changes in our lives.

I also look forward to other, perhaps more “gentle” conversations about the things that interest us. It doesn’t all have to be life-altering revelations. <grin> No subject is off limits, as far as I am concerned, as long as every conversation is polite and thoughtful, regardless of the topic being discussed.

So I repeat, welcome and have a seat. We are going to have great conversations, you and I. Take the challenge and run with it!