Two Hundred Nine: Open

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” – Frank Zappa

Tuesday, July  29th

My daughter started her “Math and Art” class yesterday. I sat on the side with my son and we played with the toys, smiling at another mother and her young daughter.

Somehow we started a conversation. Maybe it was about her daughter or the atypical Pacific Northwest heat. Whatever it was, it landed us in a conversation that spanned most of the two hours. It was fantastic and I was happy to meet someone new.

There are many times when I close myself off to strangers. I don’t want to talk to the cashier about the weather, or the person vending newspapers on the corner, or the Greenpeace canvasser that asks if I “care about the environment”. This face-to-face disconnect is endemic to our culture, and I hate that.

Conversely, it feels difficult to be open to social interaction all the time. As a parent, I go through stretches of time where I suffer from insomnia or just run myself ragged doing more than I can manage. Keeping the peace and getting to know the people within my immediate family intrinsically is a beautiful but tiring thing, and there are days when I just keep myself closed off. As with all things, it’s a matter of striking the balance between the two.

Do you keep yourself open to others?


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