Saturday, January 07, 2012

birds of a feather








i sometimes long for the days of intellectual salons, which is a little bit weird, because i don't think they've really happened within my lifetime.  but you know the kind -  where smart people dropped by to discuss the issues of the day and the things that were in the air (and possibly had a side conversation or two about swearing infixes - you know, like un-fucking-believable) . they discussed and possibly caused the movements - in art, in politics. and they smoked and drank cocktails and planned intrigues and probably went home and made paintings featuring stark black squares.

instead, i do daily battle with the well-intentioned but lesser gifted (that sounds so much better in danish - mindrebegavet), the rumor-mongers and those who are decidedly shy of conflict.

i sometimes long for a literary/political salon so much it aches. and i wish we still lived in such times. i wonder if it's possible to make it happen again?

how does one get birds of a feather to flock together?

12 comments:

Bill said...

Black squares... ultra modern in 1915.

On target question about getting like minded birds together. In sync moments do occur but most social occasions are pedestrian.

d smith kaich jones said...

oh man. i had that until my neighbor died 3 years ago. she was in her 90s, a world traveler, gin drinker, a fabulous woman. she lived alone and as she began to need "looking after", i would join her every night, along with 2 or 3 other neighbors, and we would fix the problems of the world. of different political persuasions, drinkers, teetotalers, all ages, but still birds of a feather. we called it "mary's salon". i miss her, but also that experience. i think it's rare, i think you can't make it happen, and i think i was incredibly blessed to have been a part.

Corrine said...

I have no idea how one becomes so lucky to come upon such a group of minded persons. Most likely a lifetime quest for a restless mind. But, I must say, that is a lot of birds!

stephanie said...

Seriously. How fun/interesting/enlightening/encouraging would it be to be in able to find a place like that? I think one of my biggest issues is the inability to express my thoughts in a manner that could stimulate conversation and an exchange of ideas. (Emphasis on ideas.) But if there was a place where this was the practice and it was encouraged...good grief that would be amazing. It would give people a place to learn confidence in ideas and gain experience in expressing ideas.

But now that I'm thinking about it...what the hell happened to these places in the first place? Are people really turning so vacuous that they don't WANT to be environments where they can talk about ideas, issues and the like? Sharing rumors and gossip is easy. Talking about issues and plans takes effort and mental energy. Are people just too tired after doing battle with real life to keep thinking/talking about REAL life? It's easier to talk about people.

I'm off to drink another beer and think about this. Because there must be a way for the people that need this outlet to get together. And now I want it. :)

Delena said...

Old guys get together every morning in restaurants around the world and solve all the problems and issues of the day.

c is for cape town said...

I'm pondering Stephanie & Delena's comments here ... has real life gotten too busy/exhausting, leaving us little time to contemplate bigger issues? Are old guys in cafes the only ones left with time to do this?
Did those salon attendees of old have quieter lives?
Ditto their headspace.
I think one could argue that our heads are so busy these days -work, life, relationships, social media etc - that we have (make?) little quiet time for the inner contemplation and reflection which forms the foundation of good conversation with others.

c is for cape town said...

Also loving the Danish/Afrikaans similarities again - mindebevooregt (less privileged)

Gretel said...

I would think that if something like that does not exist, then it takes one bird to fly off in a certain direction and encourage others to follow - that is to say, why not try setting up such a thing yourself?

CiCi said...

There are many political blogs that encourage discussions in comments. Have you looked for them, or seen them? I have joined the town's book club and am hoping that the monthly meetings will be animated discussions and perhaps lead to some of us meeting for coffee during the month to discuss more.

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

I know exactly what you mean. I used to work for a man whom I could listen to talk for hours. He was so full of wisdom and life experience. Most other people didn't want to take the time to listen but I always loved taking it all in. He passed several years ago, long after I had left that job to be a stay at home mom. I often think of him and smile. As I get older, I find I don't like the "small talk" that most people engage in nowadays. I can't be bothered. Intelligence is so much more attractive. : ) Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and words. I'm glad I found your blog. Happy New Year to you and yours!! xoxo

~ Wendy
http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Sammi said...

people are just too scared to say what they actually think these days.

kristina said...

oh, I want that too. maybe we need online intellectual saloons - google+ hangouts - or similar? as we are unable to fly like the birds to get to the people we want to talk to.