I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the value of good conversation. It’s become as nurturing to my spirit as sleep and sustenance. It’s not gossipy hollow chit chat to which I refer, but rather talk that adds to my life or someone else’s whether by way of joy, comfort, knowledge or inspiration.

As a younger woman, it was difficult to find the time, energy, or venue for the kind of rich conversation I enjoy with friends today.   The responsibilities of a young family don’t always complement the need for focus and the quiet space that provide the fertile ground for a one to one. This is intended as a statement of situation, not of resentment. It’s not that I never had a satisfying conversation during that time, I just had to work harder to get an uninterrupted one.

I’ve married a great conversationalist.  My husband will undoubtedly laugh when he reads this and ask, “When do get a chance to talk?” This is an example of the wit that makes him, in my opinion, an amusing conversationalist. He is also well read which is not to say he waxes on about high brow topics with arrogance. Only to say that he adds to my understanding, especially of current events. As a writer, I’m preoccupied with researching the past and building imaginary worlds . The real one sometimes skates past me unnoticed. I would also remind him that talking is only half of a conversation. This is my wit. He’s very good at the half of the conversation that involves listening.

Some of the best conversations sprout through spontaneity. But lately, I ‘ve been setting the stage for conversation and enjoying the experience of it. Friends arrive wearing a broad smile, more often than not, accompanied by a baguette or a bottle of their favourite wine.  A lot of talk happens over a table of simple fare and merlot.  The kind of talk that deepens friendships. It is a privilege to know and be known, to share ideas or be introduced to a fresh perspective. I always come away feeling all the richer for it.

Last week, I packed some homemade soup and fresh-from-the-bakery bread and headed to a local gallery to have a creativity lunch with a dear friend who works there. The visit recharged my emotional battery. Our discussion has opened my eyes to the creative relationship between visual artists and writers.

I do love a good talk!

It is not what we learn in conversation that enriches us. It is the elation that comes of swift contact with tingling currents of thought.  Agnes Repplier
My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company. Jane Austen

  What is the most important element of good conversation? I’d love to hear from you.