232 Art of Conversation
6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
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My partner and I have started doing this new thing where we meet every Wednesday for lunch and coffee outside of the house, smack dab in the middle of the work week. My main goal is to use this time to present my best self (to him, to me, and to the universe) ... with not the usual dirty painting apron on but something that makes me feel like a million bucks and like I'm part of the professional workforce. Of course he is always with a jacket and tie so that's how we meet. In a restaurant. Well-dressed and punctual. Like we would be with other colleagues. Part of my best self is to use this time to practice the art of good conversation. So to avoid topics like "did you change the light bulbs in the bathroom" to topics like "I read this really great passage in the book I'm reading and it made me feel this ... "
I know that I get excited when I interact with good conversationalists. And I know it takes practice to make sure I'm practicing good conversation (talking authentically without one-upping, listening actively and providing feedback instead of judgement, and sharing with excitement about all the intellectually stimulating things I'm filling myself up with). It takes practice to be interesting. And I want to make sure that 10 years from now, after decades in a marriage and the kids all gone, we aren't stuck, talking about uninteresting things or worse yet, not talking at all. So today, after our lunch date in the city, I came home and composed and painted a scene that I think captures this new effort on our part, to practice the art of conversation.