sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters

hard questions

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm

a friend recently told me (as though it was news) that I relish the hard questions. She’s right, I do. There’s a deep pleasure in setting aside the small talk, the social niceties, the small coin of everyday and delving into one another’s hearts and minds. There I find the reality of people: their fears, their dreams, their spirits; there I find out what drives them in the hard times and what keeps them up at night, wondering, watching, planning, waiting.

There’s a story about a holiday ham in a particular family, whose tradition was to slice off the ends of the ham before cooking it. No one knew why, it was just the way it was done. One day, the new daughter in law asked about it. Her husband’s mother had no idea, but asked the grandma the next Easter.

“Oh,” said grandma, “I did that because my roasting pan was too short to fit the whole thing.”

The hard questions are where we become not just fully human but fully ourselves. They are as often hard because they point out the good as the bad–we are so easily inclined to slice off the outlier truths when they don’t fit in our roast pan. But sometimes the crispy, salty, chewiness is just what we need to remind us why the food of our lives is good and worth the work.

Yes. I love the hard questions. They are the place where intimacy meets life, and where pleasure is made real.

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