the right conversations
going farther, faster
A constant topic in literature is the abyss between two people, how no matter how close you are to someone they remain a wilderness to you. I’ve spent a lot of my life wondering exactly how unbridgeable that abyss is: how well is it possible to understand someone else?
I think we all long for that moment of pure recognition, the sense that someone else gets us, and we pursue it in friends and lovers with varying degrees of success. I’ve known people who have a ton in common with me intellectually but not emotionally. I also known people who are similar to me emotionally but not intellectually. Both gaps are difficult to overcome. I try to explain myself, fail. I give up on trying to explain myself. Or I spend too much time evangelizing for my view of the world, trying to convert someone else into a believer.
I keep noticing that if you’re not on the same page you can’t have the right conversations. Two people with the same preoccupations, the same references, can go so much further. When you establish common ground quickly, you can move onto experimental territory. Instead of fighting over the present you can talk about the future.