One of the benefits of listening to an obscure Pandora station is that it introduces one to other obscure music from the same time period of the same kind. As someone who is a fan of the music of Christine McVie both inside and outside of Fleetwood Mac , it should come as little surprise that I am fond of the music of Stevie Nicks as well for many of the same reasons. Maybe I have just listened to the wrong 1980’s stations or at the wrong times, but “Talk To Me” is a song that seems to have slipped through the memory hole despite having been a top 5 hit on the pop charts and a #1 hit on the mainstream rock charts, despite the fact that it remains a very excellent song long after its release as the first single from Nicks’ popular “Rock A Little” album. The song itself is a pretty Nathanish one with its call for communication in the face of failed attempts at mind reading and the feeling on the part of the singer that she and the person she is singing to have the same thing on their mind if they will only talk about it. One can always hope.
I thought of this song as I was sitting and reading this evening when someone called me looking to chat about some random subjects that included a movie I have not seen that is likely not long for the theaters, the idea of seasonal colors for some particular clothing that this person is making, and the topics of various sermon messages we had heard. I often find myself pondering the awkwardness of conversations, largely because I am aware that when I talk to people it is seldom merely a matter of my own social graces or lack thereof that makes conversations awkward but often the context as well. Being highly self-conscious, I tend to be compassionate on others who are equally awkward to myself largely because they too are deeply self-conscious and eager not to offend.
It is perhaps humorous that the subject of communication and unity among the brethren appeared in both of our messages yesterday at church and that I found myself at the end of the evening chatting with both of them last night at a birthday party for a friend of mine who has been having a tough time of it recently. I found the conversation particularly pleasant and it seemed as if all of us were reflecting on the ways that it is harder to deal with matters when they are allowed to fester for years. There are some people whose communication struggles with others have gone on for years and years and one wonders how it ever came to be that way. There are some people whose words are many but who struggle to say the right words, and other people who say few things but those few things are important, and one can only find out more by paying attention to those words that are said and asking intelligent questions about them. It does seem as if some people really lack the ability to properly gauge what others are saying and it hinders them from having positive interactions with those who do not find their words treated with the respect that they feel they deserve.
There are at least a few vicious circles when problems remain unresolved for a long time. If we have a problem with someone and we can’t resolve it, further interactions with that person likely only give us fuel for our existing hurts and resentment, and make it more difficult to get over what originally bothered us. If things go on long enough, we may even forget what originally made us mad at someone but may simply know that we don’t like someone and may even want nothing to do with them, without being able to get to the root of the problem. Likewise, we tend to communicate less with those people who we view as being people who simply do not respect us or care for our best interests, so once people are considered as enemies it is hard for them to escape the enemy list and be returned to our good graces. It is not as if talking about things will solve every problem, but there are probably a great many issues in our lives that could be resolved with some misunderstandings cleared up and a sign of mutual concern and respect, if only that could be achieved.
 See, for example: