Don't misunderstand. I never expected to find intriguing conversationalists at our contemporary citadels of darkness, but I've noticed that even the small talk among over-educated academics barely rises above apathetic weariness. The innately loquacious among them - who are dwindling by the day - have resorted to regurgitation. Listening to them is akin to hearing a fatigued anchorperson monotonously drone through the previous evening's news headlines without saying a word about the news itself.
It doesn't get any better outside of work. My neighbors tend to stick to the weather or sporting events. The few friends I do have here limit themselves to complaining about work. Talking to the priest at the village church is like talking to one of the church walls.
I sometimes think the fault lies within me. In terms of conversation, perhaps I am attracting exactly what I deserve. Or, perhaps I am drawing precisely what I am projecting. Yet I cannot ignore the attempts I have made to elevate a conversation above the usual topics of sun and rain and taxes and bosses. Unfortunately, the individuals with whom I try to kindle engagement have no trouble ignoring my attempts. They douse the sparks immediately and ensure their tinder remains non-flammable.
I wonder if others are experiencing the same phenomenon.
Whatever the case, I have decided not to let it bother me anymore. If I can't find a good conversation beyond the boundaries of my family, it very likely means I need to be content with the good conversations I do have with my family. It also a forceful reminder that the conversations I seek might not exist in the external human world for the time being, but exist instead in good books, in the Gospels, in the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus Himself.