FOUR THINGS TO ASK A STRANGER (almost a parody)

Welcome to Mary Anne Radmacher's blog.

One way to get to know a person you've just met is to ask them to tell you about their favorite friends. It's said that a person essentially becomes an aggregate of the five people with whom they spend the most time.

There's another telling question to ask a stranger. It's all about a book.

1) Is there one book that you have re-read and will read again (and again)?
2) What is the most recent book that you've read and what stands out to you most?
3) What is the title of a book you recommend most often to friends?
4) What was the last book you read that made you so sad when it came to the end? (Because you wanted to keep on reading, not because the ending was sad!).

If the person you are just getting to know has never re-read a book, can't remember what stood out from the last book they read, doesn't recommend books to friends and has never felt sad to stop reading an excellent book...

I suggest that you stop conversing with them. And, perhaps, run. Kidding (not kidding). Perhaps you might consider striking up a conversation with someone else that you might want to get to know. AND start THAT conversation off by recommending a book you've recently read...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

a letter to mary anne sent from her BUSY MIND

Dear Mary Anne:

You always hear from me but I thought I’d officially notify you today on behalf of expectation, uncertainly, self-recrimination and resistance. We are involved in a significant meeting. Since everybody knows me as The Busy Mind, they figured asking me to do “one more thing,” wouldn’t matter.

“Bring it on! I can do it all – even though I already have so much to do.” Yes. That’s really me talking when those martyr like phrases come out of your mouth. Well, anyway, I’m speaking on their behalf today.

You, Mary Anne, left to your own devices, just play with delight and create from your heart. Thank G@! I’m there to remind you of all your responsibilities, strengths and shortcomings. See. I try for balance in my whispering – no wonder you’ve been tucking your head into those little electronic word games. You can’t hear me there. It really bugs me when you do that, by the way. When you come out of the sound proof booth I have to up my game just to bring you up to speed.

Look – it’s our collective jobs to keep you connected to everything. All that “letting go” stuff you practice just keeps us all damn busy running around, catching the stuff and bringing it back to you. If you’d simply hold on to stuff in the first place it would make all of our jobs so much easier. (You’re plain lucky I haven’t endorsed a union here. You would really have a hard time shutting us out then.) Just keep in mind that we are committed – we will do whatever it takes to keep you mired in our realities.

I wish you’d give up this focus phrase process of yours. That’s another thing that makes our jobs super hard. How’s a Busy Mind supposed to be effective when your mind is open, at ease and simply observing and learning from the world around you? I’m the Conduit. I want to be in charge and I want you to let me be in charge.

Yeh. Yeh. Everybody – I Know! Everybody here wants to think that THEY are in charge. Fine. You all can think what you want.

Okay. Okay. I’ll communicate for them, now.

Fear says’s he’s only trying to protect you from making the same mistakes. “Hey! Wait a minute – Fear! When did you show up to this meeting? I hate it when you slip in late without me noticing.”

Expectation says she’s only trying to help you live up to your astonishingly well polished standard-trophies. Uncertaintly reminds you he’s actually creativity in disguise – he doesn’t want you to get all soft and cushy in your career so he dresses up as uncertainty. (You know this already, right? Seriously? You forgot? How do you forget a thing like that? Maybe I’ve fallen down on my job by not helping you remember this.)

Self-recrimination. Before I let you hear from that department let me just say that self-recrimination has been a real management challenge for me. She often steps in trying to do MY job. Imagine. Her! Trying to sound like The Busy Mind. She’s actually been pulling it off quite a bit, lately. It's quite disturbing. So, help me watch out for that, okay?

Allright. Self –recrimination, my underling, my employee, self-recrimination who reports first TO ME, not to you - just wants you to know she knew you before everybody else. She knew you when you were just an obscure nobody. Who would keep you humble if she didn’t?

Resistance is the head of the Internal Corps of Engineers. He’s very busy right now so he left right after we started this meeting. But I can tell you what’s what. He understands your lack of artistic discipline. He sees how you’ve succumbed to the process of designing by fire – large bonfire bursts. So he just steps in and digs those fire line trenches as deep as he can. By the time the fire is large enough to breech the line it is roaring and unstoppable.

I know. I know. It leaves you exhausted. But that’s one of my busiest times. I get to keep you engaged with all the other things you haven’t done while engaged in the creative fire building.

See? We really do all work hard for you. So, if you could stop this being present, in joy, with the present moment nonsense it would go a lot better for all of us.

There is so much more I could say – but I’ve got a lot to do so I’ve got to go. Take care – The Busy Mind


2 comments:

Blasé said...

I'm in Charge until I'm not in Charge.

You're a Thinker, I like that.

Peace

Ellen said...

Your writings have long inspired me. Thanks for sharing this Busy Mind aspect, for I've been there frequently as well. Nice to know we can move beyond it, and I thank you for being one who has helped me do so. When my thought storms start, you are one whose writings bring me back. Just wanted to say thank you.