Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I talk therefore I am

Several months ago my husband would complain about a friend of his at adult day care, a former attorney, who used to talk for what seemed hours about his previous career. He had been involved in the civil rights movement integrating St. Louis schools, a proud moment in his life. Bob appreciates his contribution, but he would complain about how X talked and talked.
This morning, not for the first time, I found myself trying to do my breathing (one one thousand ... out, two one thousand ... in deeply now) while Bob talked; I timed him: 21 minutes without interruption or pause. He talked about whether Neal Diamond was from Carolina and about learning of a problem with bats in Missouri, on and on and on and on. He even now and then, when he couldn't think of a word or pronounce the word correctly, would say "I can't talk" in exasperation.
Talking about exasperation!! I found myself exploding inside. I listened to his stream of consciousness, rambling incoherent monologue. I couldn't help but think that in this way he stays in touch with some kind of thought. He clings to communicating and thinking.
When I consider his conversation from this angle, I hope to be more patient and to listen quietly.

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