happy friends on camper van roof

A Good Conversation

I hope you enjoy reading this song while reading the post.

I have a confession to make. I am a listener and also an eager eavesdropper. Wherever I am, I have my ears and eyes actively on. Whether on public transport, during lunch breaks at work, in a restaurant or while the children play. When I am among other people in groups, I am not the one running the show, but rather the one who allows myself to be entertained, listens and learns a lot. I hear the words, follow the tone, and pay attention to the body language. I enjoy observing groups. How are they formed? What moves them and creates a flow amongst the group members?

In my youth, I often sought out darkened bars. These dimly lit pubs ( In Norway, we call them brown pubs) were the perfect life-story room. They were full of lived lives, and the alcohol tap also opened people’s inner spaces. The drunker the storytellers became, the juicier their stories became, making it tricky to tell if they were true.

Over the years, my interest was carried over to different people-centred jobs. 
During an interview once, I was asked a question that made me a little nervous. The question was: “What is a good conversation for you, and with whom do you have good conversations?” At that moment, that question puzzled me. I found it an unusual question to be asked at a job interview, but it wasn’t really strange. The job consisted of conversing with clients who needed public assistance due to their situations, so it was about how one communicates with others. Later on, it also made me extra aware of conversations, even though I was always interested in them in different ways and settings. But I would like to pass that question on to you with my twist.

Would you like to share the essence of a good conversation you remember, and what exactly made that conversation good for you?

Here I also want to share a poem from Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a world-renowned Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. I’m sharing this particular poem because, in conversations, I often see myself in people, in all kinds of possible situations and settings. Their story and history could have been mine. 

Call Me by My True Names

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive. Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive. I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river, and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time to eat the mayfly. I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog. I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda. I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving. I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp. My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans. Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one. Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

If you haven’t read my colleague’s post “5 Fascinating Greek Myths about the Origin of Plants and Flowers “, you should check it out, and thanks for following the Wise and Shine community. You are also welcome to visit and follow my blog.

20 thoughts on “A Good Conversation

  1. Beautiful poem and interesting insights Parisa! I also listen secretly to other people conversation, but what is any of them would turn to me and ask why I am listening? Sometimes at restaurants we sit very close to each other and when I hear something I don’t agree with, it’s so difficult for me to keep my mouth shut!

    1. I am happy that you liked the poems. I like it as well. Hearing that more of us listen to other people’s conversations is good. Once on a bus, a guy asked me if I was eavesdropping on his conversation. I was shocked by the question and said, Hæ, and I think he misunderstood my hæ and just said oh, sorry. If he had asked again, I would probably admit that I did.

    1. I like that mixture of new insights and humour. Thank you for sharing that.

    1. I am happy you can relate to it and that you liked the Poem. Thanks for reading 🙏 and your comment.

  2. Beautiful post, Parisa. I love your description of yourself as a listener. I’d say that the best conversations are the ones where both people are good listeners. Then the words shared matter more.

    1. Yes, it is very true, conversations tell a lot about who we are and where we are in life. Thanks for sharing that.

    1. Yes!!! All what you mentioned makes the ground for a good conversation. Thank you for sharing 🙏🌺

  3. I also enjoy just listening to those around me- you can learn a lot!
    I also enjoyed the song 😎

    1. Ohhh being an active listener is a gift Todd! And I guess you have been here☺️ ( reading-listener) by the way I am happy you enjoyed the song.

  4. Why i am always angry with you? Because you know i will never be angry with you. This conversation sticks in my head but i dont remember where i heard from.

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