Saturday, February 27, 2010

big waste

We had a friend over for dinner.  The more we talked, the wittier his remarks.  He doesn't start off with much except a good ability to listen and comment sympathetically.  But as his ideas and choice of expressions got going, there were moments when I just wanted to hit the pause button and savor what he had just said.

He got me to thinking of all the people in my classes, in my town, that I meet on trips -- all the people who are often silent or speak only to their partners but who think very clever things or put ideas in such a delicious perspective.  I wish I could capture all those ideas in a well-made scrapbook and read two or three a day.  I would often need some help understanding their point.  They would often say things in such an original way that I wouldn't get the point.  Then, when I did understand, I would be struck.  I would be a little mesmerized.  I would be in neutral while I digested the humor, the notion, while I tried to add the new jewel to what I retain.  

It is a shame that so much gold is lost to the rest of us.  There is no way to find it, capture it, without frightening people or invading their privacy.  There is no way to note just the good stuff without also collecting confusions and cliches.  I just have to be patient, waiting for another zinger and glad of the arresting insights and gifts I do get.

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