Talking in Loud Voices

Posted: May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

As it goes, I’m frequently in and out of care centers and nursing homes. They provide the most interesting public space, at once tending to personal needs but almost absent privacy. Considering our human need for social interaction that could be considered a strength, at least on some levels. But not always.

Two conversations overheard because you couldn’t not hear them unless you were deaf:

The first arose from one resident to another, a long-termer to a new arrival:

“Welcome aboard, come on in and it’s just fine. We like it here and hope you will, too. We were in your shoes one day, just newly arrived, out of place, not knowing what it will be like. We understand. But you’ll be fine. And I look forward to getting to know you better …”

The second came out of the mouth of an aid, speaking on the phone, who forgot to close her door:

“Well, he left me for another woman (pause) I know, it happens all the time, I’m not the only one (pause) Can you believe that the dope wants me to stay on the loan for his car (pause) Yeah, that’s what I thought (pause) So what am supposed to do now???

Both of these conversations were so very real. Both were about belonging, our fear of loneliness and isolation, and the intersection of despair and hope. What about future? And what shall I do now?

At such times, I just pray.

  1. Wonderful post, as always! What gives me hope is that these are conversations. There is a betweenness. Your post reminds me to pray for the silent ones who feel excluded, ignored and rejected, those who have gotten so lost in their lonely thoughts that they give up trying to speak.

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