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...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PROMISES TO MYSELF #11

PROMISES TO MYSELF • Promise #11 • December 17, 2009 • EMBRACE INTER-CONNECTEDNESS • I promise to extend myself to strangers. • “mary anne, have the openness to allow a stranger to become a friend.” • Looking into this day this might mean – engage in unexpected exchange, reach out to a “friend of a friend,” broaden your circle.

“the greatest life lessons may come from people you have yet to meet.” – mar –

“each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” - anais nin –

Reflections on Promise #11. Somehow, in these recent days, many of my significant lessons are woven into origami. The patterns, the visual unlikelihood, the stretch of imagination asking, “A piece of flat paper did that?” The inter-connectedness of the origami folds strike me as symbolic of the complex layers and folds of our days. Crease, fold, harsh straight line, each flat building upon flat fold until shaken or the strength of breath is applied. With breath or stretch there is magic. Form recognized. What was flat, unfamiliar, becomes a bird in flight. This calls to mind those AHA moments – when all the murky, disconnected complexities line up in magnificent order to say, “This is the lesson I have been creating for you. THIS is a lasting, difficult beauty for your life.”

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