Strange how a global pandemic shifts what you end up thinking about. One of mine is how explicit I’ve been in locating where someone is when I talk to them.
I think about how prefunctionary “how are you?” had become. It had become closer to “hello” than actually asking how someone was. You were supposed to reply to “Fine,” regardless of what was actually happening. And that made sense for the most part. Generally, there wasn’t time or space to really deal with whatever was going on the interior.
But now to even have a conversation, I’m finding the desire to calibrate. And I think others are too. On the one layer, I feel the need to as I’m in a pretty good spot. Everyone is healthy, my foundations are stable, and I’m pretty used to a remote lifestyle. So it seems uncouth to talk as if everyone is in the same spot.
I wonder, however, if there’s an undercurrent for some. That being that we’ll realize that we rarely know where anyone is at any given time. That if we feel that we know then those are assumptions.
Maybe for most of life that’s close enough. We may perceive colors differently. You call it periwinkle, I call it purple. But we’re close enough to keep moving.
But this time we’re in, it much more tangible the nuances (or gulfs) of difference we’re all at. That we aren’t as together as we thought.
“Being in the ballpark” is a phrase to approximate a guess or realm of proximity. But maybe we’re realizing there’s a wide difference of experience sitting in the lower seats versus the nosebleed seats versus being in the dugout versus being at the pitcher’s mound.
Even a ballpark is a pretty big place.