For whatever reason, people use this time of year to try something different. Maybe it’s the steady diet of sameness that holiday traditions bring us. The urge to correct that sameness with something wild to balance it off might be innate. So I will this week propose that people do something really simple and really hard. (It’s both.) Invite their immediate neighbors over for conversation. I plan to invite John and Marlitt, so I can practice what I preach.
I wanted to delve into the idea that people being curious in others, especially in those who appear completely different to us, is the surest cure for the terror that the simple and the cynical among us say there’s no escaping. I couldn’t incorporate it into the essay I wrote without it taking over the whole thing and making it way less playful than I wanted. So maybe another time I’ll come back to the topic in a different context. For now, it’s celebrating Eugene as a place where a new hobby can begin in America (one sorely needed): conversation.