If You Were Stranded on a Deserted Island
I love the question, “If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one music album with you, what would it be?” I love the question, because I know the answer. My answer has not changed since I was first asked nearly 20 years ago when I was a freshman in college. The answer unequivocally has always been and forever will be August and Everything After by The Counting Crows. Love me or hate me, the reason why I always choose this album, ironically, is because it has no answers. The lyrics make virtually no sense whatsoever. The words to each song are like poetry set to music and I love to imagine spending unending hours in reverie wondering what Adam Duritz meant when he sang,
Step out the front door like a ghost into the fog where no one notices the contrast of white on white. And in between the moon and you, angels get a better view of the crumbling difference between wrong and right. I walk in the air between the rain and through myself and back again. Where? I don’t know. Maria says she’s dying, through the door I hear her crying. Why? I don’t know.
Another similar type of question, with less clear of an answer, often comes up between Karl and I. The question is, “If you could change just one thing about the other, what would it be?” I love that question…and not because I always know the answer. I love that question because his answer gives me an opportunity to know what is most important to him. His answer gives me his glasses for a moment. I get to look through his lens and see the world he sees and ponder for a moment what he wishes for and hopes for and dreams for and longs for. And from his answer, I have a moment to either hear his request and contemplate what he is really asking for and imagine what it might mean for me to honor his wish, or defend my right to remain who I am and continue to act the way that I do and turn my back on the opportunity for change.
However, I think it might take a lifetime of me being stranded on a deserted island to give him what it is that he asks for. When I ask that question, Karl responds with, “If I could change just one thing about you, it would be the way you deliver your opinion or perspective. You say things with such conviction and matter-of-fact conveyance that there is little room for disagreement, argument, clarification, or any other form of dialogue.” For those of you who know me well, you can instantly identify with Karl’s plight. Even when I may not know an answer for sure or have an idea during a brainstorming session, when I speak, it sounds like I do. There are myriad reasons for why this is true of me (I’m sure they will be exposed and explored throughout my stories on this blog), and often a necessary part of my existence. Nonetheless, I would rather be invitational and dialogical than a know-it-all.
So, as I practice with and for Karl, you, dear reader, also are invited to join in the fun. Would you answer one of the two questions posed today in the comments below and join our efforts to create not a place where we know it all, but a space where there is room for and an invitation into dialogue with one another?