APPLE SEEDS: The path of conversation
Thanksgiving weekend approaches, and with it, good food and even better conversation.One of my favourite characteristics of ‘family’ as I know it, is the path conversation will take when it lives in an environment that is non-judgemental and basically, anything goes. Also required is a group of people who really like to chat, with differences of opinions that lead to a spirited debate, and ultimately to a google search. (yep… we are all of that and a bag of apples)
Non sequitur, by definition is a conclusion of statement that does not logically flow from the previous argument or statement. You may or may not know, it is also a comic strip, created in 1992 and syndicated to more than 700 newspapers and apparently available as a Day-To-Day Calendar. (find it on gocomics.com/nonsequitur)
On the surface, many of our family conversations may appear to be non sequitur; however, I personally don’t believe that this is possible in any conversation.
All parties may not be privy to the logic that leads from one thought to another, yet logic still exists, if only in the mind of the person introducing the next topic. (yes… Speaking from a place where it may seem like I saw something shiny, but really, I have moved on in the conversation)
How do we achieve that leap from one topic to another? In many cases, that answer remains a mystery, because by the time one thinks to ask why the subject has been changed, we have forgotten. (It is a source of amusement to ask however, how we get talking about this-and hearing the recant and justification for it)
My most recent, seemingly non sequitur experience was while enjoying an evening glass of wine with my mother and daughter. The conversation started out simply enough.
TCM (Turner Classic Movies) was broadcasting ‘Shane’; Alan Ladd and Jack Palance on opposite sides in the wild, wild west. This was not our first time with this classic, so the movie became background noise as we discussed the attributes of Downton Abbey.
How does one get to Downton Abbey from Shane? Follow along…
- Question then debate on when Shane was released (1953 – I googled it)
- Question – How are you liking ‘Downton Abbey’ (my mother and daughter have started watching this series on Netflix and I noted in my own head how television and the consumption of entertainment on screen has changed, now on demand with a plethora of options available - seemingly non sequitur but quite the opposite).
My quizzical look was met with “you remember – I am sure I read that to you. There was a giant, and a garden – you must remember.”
We read many, many tales but that was not one of them, I was sure of it. After, of course, some debate, and an investigative google search, we determined that the tale in question was “The Brave Little Tailor” a German fairy tale collected by none other than the Brothers Grimm. Also known as “Seven At One Blow”.
The next 15 minutes were spent as I read aloud the story of how a tailor “struck the flies such a heavy blow with a duster that no fewer than seven lay dead upon the table”… (If you are intrigued, you must read the story to know how that act led to his success in life as the brave tailor – non sequitur? I think not)As we continued along the path of conversation, the garden tale was soon identified as “The Selfish Giant”, one of my childhood favourites. After the now predictable google search, the also predictable recital commenced, uncovering an ending either unheard or forgotten. (I won’t spoil it for you – it’s worth the read)
We moved on to our favourite nursery rhymes and how much we could recall accurately, favourite Audrey Hepburn movie (resulting from thoughts of childhood, old movies, my dad, whose favourite actress was Audrey Hepburn – see… always a path) to whether we were home for dinner the following evening and should we have soup.
What am I thankful for? My family, who every day inspire me, challenge me and lead me down the interesting and often unpredictable, never non sequitur path of conversation.
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