Thursday, December 17, 2009

Talking it Out

One of my favorite things in life has always been having long and satisfying talks with friends. We'd visit and I'd always feel like my heart was full and my life was sorted out. I figured out long ago that words fill me up. 

I realize part of the reason I occasionally feel so empty   is that I don't spend as much time with people as I used to. I remember being on the phone with a friend soon after D died, when I burst into tears. "Why are you crying?" she asked very gently. "I can't think of anything to say!" I told her honestly. For me, that was a particularly cruel twist of fate.

That self-confession has stayed with me. There  have been many times recently when I am with people and I can think of absolutely nothing to talk about. I have found it helps to go out with more then one friend at a time. That way if all my words dry up, I have a backup friend to fill in the conversational gaps.

This week I made a date to meet  a dear friend at Starbucks after school. I taught her children for a total of four years and we are interconnected in countless ways. The closer I got to my next Pumpkin Spice Latte, the more I worried about having enough words to carry a conversation.

Well, kill the fatted calf: the prodigal tongue has returned. We sat down at 4:30 pm for a short chat and an exchange of Christmas gifts, and the next time we looked at our watches it was 9:30 pm. In  between, we talked about our kids, our jobs, loss, and life. She showed me different ways to tie the darling scarf she gave me, and I laughed at how often her girls and husband were texting her to see when she would be home. 

D used to be amazed when my friends and I would shut down restaurants with our long talks. "What can you possibly talk about for that long?" he'd ask me. I couldn't always fill in all the details for him, but even the short version left him reeling. Some people feel depleted by long conversations. Imagine that.

So, perhaps another piece has been fit into this puzzle of healing. Talking fills me up, and I seem to be able to carry on long conversations again with friends. Thanks, C, for just being your normal, wonderful self. Full of compassion and laughter, you light up any room you are in. Married Daughter has long said of C, "Mom, she is not just a friend: she is a quality friend." 

And a quantity friend as well: lots of words to share, lots of words to listen to. 

 Starbucks and friends? I'm baaaaaack.


Dawn said...

I'm glad you're baaaack and enjoying Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. (Why don't they serve those year 'round???) I'm looking forward to having one with you after the holidays.

I completely "get" you - it is very frustrating when words fail. We're going to get along great in the word department (I love words!) - my family always says it takes me at least 20 minutes to just say hello to someone. Imagine if I'm trying to say hello AND tell a story or two! Ha!

Lynn said...

I have closed out restaurants visiting with a friend as well! They even started to shut the lights off on us, can you imagine!! I too love time spent with friends and good conversation. I have a long time friend whose husband just rolls his eyes when we start a phone conversation and he goes and does whatever comes back an hour or more later and we are still talking!! She lives long distance now but in my 'other life' we lived on neighboring ranches. Nothing like a good cup of coffee and conversation with a friend, one of God's rich blessings to me.

Abby said...

I've loved reading your blog and catching up on your life after such a long time. I have to keep a box of Kleenex close by, but there's always the pleasure of a good laugh through the tears thanks to your sweet and witty spirit! So glad to find you again!