“Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.”    ― Guy de Maupassant

As cooler weather begins to draw us indoors, much of our day is filled with idle conversation. We talk to each other all day long, sometimes just in passing, “Hey, do you want to play soccer later?” and sometimes in exploration of meaningful (and not so meaningful) issues. There is a subtle rhythm to the way conversations take place and evolve here. Certain times of the day are very quiet, and everyone seems engaged in their own game or activity; other times are predictably loud and everyone is talking to each other at once. Often, during the loud times of the day, a conversation between two or three people will suddenly be a conversation of six people and before you know it everyone is talking to each other about nothing in particular and several people are laughing so much they just can’t talk anymore. These conversations are generally ridiculous and trivial, but something about them makes us relax and simply enjoy each other’s company. Of course, we talk about serious things, too: personal lives and current affairs and science and philosophy and playing by the rules. Still, even these conversations make their way back to silliness somehow, which I appreciate as a good way to stay grounded in the present moment. 

As a window into our world of conversation, here are some overheard pieces:

“And then he turns into a giant ogre person.”

“A Venti caramel Frappuccino has over a thousand calories.”

“Can I mix the colors?”

“What’s the best music you’ve ever heard in a video game?”

“No cheating!”

“Sometimes we play dragons.”

“What are you reading?”

“My mom said I had to get rid of some of my stuffed animals.”

“I want a turn after this.”

“Do you wanna eat lunch now?”

“I’m the mom and you’re my baby.”

“Whose socks are these?”

“But manslaughter can be accidental.”

“Are you in the chess tournament?”

“He’s a huge pessimist.”

“I’m a tiny bully.”

“It’s too bad we don’t have a compost.”

In our conversations, both thoughtful and absurd, everyone is welcome and everyone belongs. We talk, we listen, and we laugh.