|Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.
Bess, I want to go to the Heaven you describe!
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DJs get those same questions. People apparantly think we aren't actually given any information that we talk about on the air, that we just know it intuitively. And the question that every DJ gets at least once a day is "who sings that song? You know, the one about love? I think it's a guy, but it could be a girl..."
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Friday, June 11, 2004 The best laid plans can go aglang and aglee so it is no surprise I didn’t get back to the blog yesterday. Oh well, I am nothing, if not flexible.
To return to Catherine’s thoughts on the Great Overmind - that current of like-think that sometimes flows between people, so that, as a team, they are greater than the sum of their individual parts. Hyper-math of the brain. Synergy, I believe I’ve heard it called, in convention speeches at library conferences and continuing ed lectures. Maybe it’s because I am in one of the help-you professions, but we’re always working on honing our skill at plugging into the Overmind.
There is a story famous in reference librarianship about a woman who came in wanting a book about gerbils for her kid. She rejected every book on pet rodents the librarian showed her. Librarian dug a little deeper. What exactly did the child want to know and the lady finally blurted out “you know, it caught on fire and everybody inside was killed.” She meant dirigibles, of course.
So - when your work involves figuring out someone means the Hindenburg and not small furry mammals, you tend to keep your antennae flicking all the time. Thinking we can always answer the question (which, btw, nobody can do - it’s just a star to aim for) - thinking we are supposed to always answer every question - is just an occupational hazard. Since we’re probably 75% successful, most people think we “know everything”, but it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. We do get good at synonyms and that makes searching easier for us, and then we get to know our collection and our community - and therein lies one of the really important components for getting into the Overmind. Good tools.
When folk have similar tools, they can make the connections easier. Of course, if they have the same tools but opposing values, ooo - then you have Family Quarrels. That’s where beloved cousin H and I often smash into trouble. She and I really share deep values and we’re also very skilled at similar organizational type activities. When we work on a project, twice as much stuff gets done than we thought we could do - in half the time. But our values are really different from the most of the family and we’re constantly coming up against their truths and being utterly flummoxed. We just don’t get it when we have to deal with their weird ideas. Of course, they don’t understand us either, and that’s why we say they’re not “our” kind of people. Mind now, it’s not as if we’ve never misunderstood each other. It’s just that I’ve never said something and gotten that dead blank stare of rejection from her. If she doesn’t get what I was saying, past experience leads her to believe that I’m using new or rusty tools, not that I’m from another planet. So trust is another component in connecting to the flow. She assumes I’ll get better with my tools - so far I always have - and she trusts me enough to give me time to find a new explanation that she’ll understand - which, so far, I’ve also been able to do.
Tools. Values. Trust. There may be other essential components, but I think those three will nearly always get you into the groove - the flow - the current.
I think about the times I’ve had that bond - that connection to someone through the Great Overmind - with tremendous satisfaction and happiness. With some folk, we can only do it for a particular project - something we’ll begin, develop and complete - and then we part. With some, we can do it in just a part of our lives - knitting, or gardening or child rasing. With a few, that combination of tools, values and trust permeates the whole of our relationship. Those are the people who become our best friends; our spouses, if we’re lucky; our children. People who can tell you things just with their eyes or their body language. Those are our precious people. Our partner’s in the quest.
In fact, I should think that heaven will be when all of us can plug into the Great Overmind and nobody will ever misunderstand anybody again.
posted by Bess | 7:53 AM