My colleagues in executive communications came up with a radical idea: We were going to get out there and talk, in person, with people again. There has been a surging demand for speeches and ghostwritten thought pieces and we knew that we had to be at the top of our game.
Late last week I called, not emailed, a college classmate Pat Serra I had known for a half a century but had lost touch with. We chewed the fat for almost two hours. Her voice and the memories of times it had soothed me over the years when I had been in such pain made me wonder why I had followed the herd into emailing and texting.
On Saturday morning I went in person to the New Haven Zen Center in Connecticut. After silently meditating, we talked. That conversation did more for my frazzled wiring than reading a batch of articles on neuroplasticity.
Then it was off to the Atlantic Ocean at Westerly, Rhode Island. There I met photographer Spencer Worthley who wanted to take my photo with a 1940s camera his boss lent him from the weekend.
After that it was an hour at a 12-step meeting in Hamden, CT. Voices, voices, voices.
Next morning, it was a return to the Zen Center, where a lecture followed the meditation. We talked about the points made afterward.
Text, we as a society have discovered, can't replace talk. No, I don't want to talk at length with the residents of the 1,400 units where I live. But I will no longer rule out how useful those conversations on the elevators could be to me, including for the creative aspects of writing speeches and ghostwriting articles.