In my exploration to depolarize my reactivity to others who think differently from me, I have fallen into the trap of the administrations agenda which is to drive a further divide amongst citizens through enforcing their conservative views on social and environmental justice issues. I wonder if by limiting my conversations to these political hot topics I am giving them too much power and instead could re-focus once again on the notion of just listening?
My last two conversations which have organically arose (both by taking walks with my kids) have been ignited by strangers comments to me about them. What if the conversations catalyst all started from a connection about children? There is a certain safety people feel when there are kids around and most everyone can relate through either their own childhood, or having raised or raising their own.
There are many reasons why walking is advantageous to sitting in a cafe and talking. For one, it allows me to integrate my time parenting my kids with my art- blurring the boundaries of life and art and motherhood and art. Second, walking can be like meditation which allows listening to occur. When walking we become aware of things outside of ourselves such as the wind, the sun and the sounds of nature and of other humans. By allowing our senses to float between these various meditative anchors, we become relaxed- allowing for greater openness and connection with ourselves, and the capacity to listen. Third, it is a way to also engage with the space/landscape which the “Walking, Talking and Listening” is occurring. For my project I will focus on walking around a 2-mile trail that is directly behind my house. By limiting the walks to this space, I will be able to engage with my local neighbors and learn about my community.