The Freedom to Be with What is Happening

Each time one converses with whomever one converses to not be attached to the conversation going in any preset direction. Can we meet that challenge, embracing it, or would we find it too demanding and dangerous to try, for who knows where it would go, when it will end, or how it will bring itself to a finale?

Perhaps already the challenge is too widely scoped as it would be fatuous to not to be attached to a desirable outcome when one speaks with one’s car mechanic. “Will the car be ready by Friday?” shouldn’t elicit a long story about the car mechanic’s distant cousin. Yet what about with those one calls friends or even potential collaborators? How much richness is lost by trying to steer a weighty ship in a certain direction and by insisting that it go in that direction when all signs point to somewhere else?

One thing is clear, and it is that not being so attached awakens us to what it’s like to be with this human being in all his or her uniqueness. Face to face. I-Thou. Awakens us to what it’s like not to try to maneuver around him or her or to jerry-rig a way ahead.

More interesting still is how not being attached to a conversation going in any preset direction cultivates in us a disposition of openness. Not to hold onto what we presume to know but to go wherever the sentences take us. To let go of familiar terrain and not to feel inclined to come back to that familiar terrain. Just to go with whatever is happening. That is openness as well as freedom. The stance of the artist?

Succinctly, openness shedding the desire to control while begetting the freedom to be with whatever is happening.

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