Deadly risk in dialogue

There is deadly risk in dialogue. We are imperiled. If we are born in conversation, we die there, too. We die when we leave it; we die when we meet another, for we cannot long remain other, and yet we must. Both people must be willing to let shields down, the shields which keep us inside our images of ourselves. Our plans may not be accepted, they might be tossed aside, worthless. We might be tossed aside worthless. Our very being might be killed and it is not for sure that someone new will rise from the ashes, or that if such a one does we will want it. We might not recognize ourselves, indeed we might not survive in any form. This is why we hold back, not willing to lose who we are. We are afraid we die. This is why we argue for our position. Yet this is our test of faith: we put forth what reality beyond truth we see, not knowing whether it will bear any fruit. Have we done good or ill we cannot know. Ours is but to offer, trembling to offer. This is a test of faith for despite our past experience that something better arises from the ashes of dialogue, we can never be sure about this time. We risk it all.

So if you do not wish to risk, I will understand. I will not hold it against you. Great courage is not mine, either. I shrink from dialogue. I shrink from revealing myself and from receiving your revealings. I fear that I may have to give up myself and my pet plans and my comfortable ways of living. I may have to learn something new, change my way of working and living, meet new people, become a new person myself.

There is risk here: what else goes with it? A responsibility not just to accept what the others say and go along, but to meet what they say, to throw my offering into the mix, see where the similarities and dissimilarities and correlates are. How are we related, how are our ideas and our dreams related? Perhaps tonight the conversations will turn away from what I think will work into something else: it is my duty to listen; it is also my duty to share my vision; then it is my duty to bend so we can weave a new pattern. There might be a better form. I wrote that like I do not believe those words, but indeed there might be a clue to a fuller measure beyond this half measure, there might be indeed something grandly better. Prepare to be surprised.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on June 7th, 2006 | No Comments »

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