Just recently I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. As he sat across the table from me I was struck with the sense that we are talking about one thing, but just beneath the surface, we are really talking about something else.
It’s that moment when you are asking questions about a “friend of yours” but the whole time you are just trying to cover up that you are really talking about yourself.
There’s the conversation, the words that people say, but then there is the real conversation, which is what is really being discussed. It is as though the words that we say have almost nothing to do with the conversation we are trying to have. Words are simply the thin covering that we use to dress up our motivations and insecurities about the things that we’re really wondering about.
In the culture I live in there are a few heated “ethical” discussions that have dominated the national conversation and polarized nearly everyone I know. These issues are so engrained in the DNA of the world I live in that saying that I am affiliated with one group or another seems to also entail a decision on one, or both of these issues.
I am talking, of course, about gay marriage and abortion.
I wonder, as I wondered at the beginning, what if gay marriage and abortion are really just the content of the conversations that people are having, while the real conversation is happening just beneath the surface. If this is true, I wonder what the real conversation is…