Today was a day of many five-minute conversations with many people instead of my usual hour-long conversations with a few people. Even these short conversations got quite deep and I was thinking kind thoughts about that quality in the background of my mind. It is more fun to be friendly and humorous even when talking about challenging subjects.
One conversation was with a ninety-year-old lady who brings rocks to the UU front door that I occasionally take down to the labyrinth for her. Another was with an old guy who happens to have a birthday symmetrical to my birthday, and we discussed the implications of that random association. Another was about the self-actualization of the human species and what that might mean and how we might cooperate with that process.
Another short talk was with our UU Reverend about how I liked his sermons because of the practical lightness of their uplifting tone and a feeling we listeners get, “I can do that. Yes, I can do that and will.” So much morality comes in a package that feels abstract and impossible but his sermons are friendly and immediate.
I invited one of my atheist friends from my Saturday group to the UU a couple of months ago, and she became a member and this morning did part of the introduction ceremonies before more than two hundred people. Another of my friends read a long piece from Walt Whitman that was very moving, about our body and spirit being united and thus the same thing. The theme of that was parallel to the official sermon. The UU feels and is so mentally healthy compared to that other group that wasn’t interested in me and my practical ways and asked me to depart. Which I did. I feel much better about that several-year-long association being terminated by them rather than me rejecting them.
One strange conversation was with a couple of guys I hadn’t talked to before. They happened to be talking about our new UU building, and I had just discovered a wonderful detail I had stood within ten feet of for the last two years without seeing. I had to show it to them. They were as amazed as I was that someone had gone to the intricate trouble of fitting a long piece of wood molding quite precisely to the ragged-faced stonework. It seems these days construction is done with an automatic nail gun and large pre-cut slabs of stuff.
Those conversations were typical of today and there were many more.