Qualities of Heart

I remember one evening some years ago when I was at the dinner table with a group of academic friends, and each were talking, bantering, about their interests, in this case the patterns of thought through the ages of philosophers and poets – the breakthroughs, the times when everything changed, the ones that inspired and moved them most and for what reasons. I loved hearing their love, interest and enthusiasm. And I was intrigued to remember on this occasion a conversation I had heard in the midst of baseball enthusiasts, who talked about the history of the game, the moments when it all changed, the times that thrilled and moved them personally and for what reasons. I thought, “Ok, I think I get this. It isn’t about the subject we’re talking about, it is about people wanting to connect, through the heart, to say what they care about and share it with others. It really doesn’t matter whether it is philosophy and poetry, baseball, football, science, religion, music, opera, painting. The main point is that people love to connect with others through the heart and share what they care about.”

Tonight I was with a group of friends on the mountain who were sharing stories and histories of these parts, the people involved, the deep story of Appalachia. These thoughts came back to me. It really doesn’t matter what subject we talk about, it is the urge for connection through the heart that motivates people’s drive in these conversations. It is the quality of heart with which people enter into any of them that matter to the others or themselves. It isn’t topical, it is feeling and experiential. I think there is a fascinating truth in this.

One Response to “Qualities of Heart”

  1. joyparker Says:

    I’ve never heard anyone say anything like this before. What a fantastic observation–that people long to share and connect through the heart. Have you ever noticed that when this is really happening, that a feeling like “grace” descends on the group? All of a sudden the barriers come down and people are communicating on a level of heart/intelligence/insight above what they are normally capable of.

    There’s gotta be a book for you in these short pieces. They work really well.

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