When I was younger, I used to think that talking about the weather was “small talk.” When people talked about the weather, I thought they were avoiding talking about something important. I had some judgment about small talk, assuming that it was the avoidance of a deeper, more authentic communication or connection.
There have been times when I’ve said, “I don’t like small talk.” And “I’m not good at small talk.”
Lately, I’ve been wondering if there is such a thing as small talk.
The more therapy groups I do and the more I really listen to people with an open mind and heart, the more I hear in every statement.
Right now, on the morning of my last work day before my two-week vacation, as I listen to the rain outside my window, here are some random thoughts about “talking about the weather.”
- Weather is often a metaphor for how people feel.
- Weather really affects how people feel.
- When I studied English Literature in college, I remember learning about “pathetic fallacy”, which is defined here as ” a literary term for the attributing of human emotion and conduct to all aspects within nature. It is a kind of personification that is found in poetic writing when, for example, clouds seem sullen, when leaves dance, when dogs laugh, or when rocks seem indifferent.”
- The weather is something that a lot of experts have been talking about lately, with different amounts of concern and fear about the future.
- When I talk to people about their emotions (especially disowned or otherwise negatively judged emotions such as anger or sadness), I use the metaphor of allowing emotions to pass through naturally, “like the weather.”*
- I have had moments of worry about what the weather will be when I travel to England and Scotland next week, because people have been telling me that area of the world has been “unseasonably warm.”
Here’s what I’m thinking, right now, as I’m readying to wrap up this post, so I can go into work and wrap up some things before leaving on vacation:
It helped me to write this post, as always.
However, I think I might have written about some — if not most — of these things in previous posts.
And I’ll name this: I do have a fear of repeating myself. I guess I fear that repeating myself will make what I am saying seem … what? Less believable? Less important?
Sort of like small talk.
Which, as I hope I’ve demonstrated for your reading pleasure and satisfaction today, does not exist.
And even if “less important” communications do exist, just wait. They will pass through — just like the weather — soon to be replaced by the next big thing.
Let’s see if I can find a photo I’ve taken this year, to illustrate this post …
That’s a photo I took, a few months ago, when I did my last (small) bit of traveling. (Knowing me, I probably had some moments of worry about the weather for that trip, too.)
Okay! Thanks for reading everything small, or big, I wrote today.
* Thanks to my friend Carol and her friend Eric for talkin’ ’bout this metaphor.