Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Time to Talk

As an Enneagram 8, I'm not naturally predisposed to be a sit-around-and-talk-guy. I'm naturally more of a get-er-dun guy. I also tend to not get things done on time -- or, to be more accurate: I usually hit deadlines, but do so by massive amounts of work at the end, and at great emotional cost to those around me.

My frustration around this has been growing, primarily because the number of friends I have has grown. That is, my procrastination is directly proportional to the number of people I spend time talking to. Today, for instance, I have two conversations scheduled with people -- each will surely go over an hour, even though I am already a day late on a major writing assignment. And the thing is, I love talking to people. My life (and writing) is immeasurably richer because of the people I've met, a fact that will be abundantly clear in my next book.

Then, yesterday, I ran across this poem by Robert Frost (a fellow Dartmouth man). It sums up, I think, my feeling, and the emergent ethos:

A Time to Talk

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.


Blogger SJ Austin said...

That's a good one, and it sure beats the pants off that "road less traveled" poem that he wrote. Here's another Frost poem that speaks to me about the consequence of not paying attention to the important things while we have the chance:

The old dog barks backward without getting up.
I can remember when he was a pup.

4:30 AM  
Blogger Nate B said...

No worries on my part. I know how it goes... so I'll catch you next time, and in the meanwhile, maybe I'll hang out with your brother. talk to you soon, bro.

5:43 AM  
Blogger spankey said...

That poem sums up my life as a newly ordained person. Lots to do, but more importantly lots of people to talk with. Thanks for sharing.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Len said...

Sweet! Since you have so many friends, I'll help you have more my giving your number to people who adore you and those that have "a few questions" for you. :-)

10:21 AM  
Blogger Gregg Koskela said...

Freaky. I found and gave that exact Frost poem to a friend two months ago.

10:41 AM  
Blogger brett said...

you're a good man Tony

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I road in the car with you once upon a time. I will shake your hand (my hands are usually clammy so if I do a side hug or full frontal it is only because I don't want you to think i just wee-wee'ed on my hands - thyroid thing or PTSS thing, who knows) tomorrow at 6pm at OK Joes. Please forgive me in advance for anything I say that crosses the line of decency and taste. Smile.


9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me talk at you. The next time we see each other face to face - you will have to talk at me;). Dude, I love your enthusiasm. Sleep well my friend.

Shoot me an e-mail so I can get it in my contact list and so I can also spam you and sign you up for promotional offers. My e-mail is dandannoodles@mac.com

community portal site I am fooling around with is

BTW...Do you read any David Foster Wallace? If not, I am giitty to get you interested in reading some of his writings. He is my favorite writer. After spending time with you, I am quite certain you will love him.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Read if you like...just some FYI for TJ)

Yesterday Lexi and I slept practically all day. Daddy is running a temp of 102 and Lexi's temp hit 103.4 last night. We went to urgent care at 4:00 this morning. The good news is that Lexi's ear and upper respiratory infection have gone away, the bad news is that the doctor believes she has caught whatever virus is lurking inside me. I am sick of being sick. I didn't take my temp until last night and just out of curiosity. I think I have probably had a temp for the last 3-4 days (I have just felt a little "off," if you know what I mean - if you have been around me you might have noticed this)....but enough about me, back to Lexi:

We were lucky to have a peds doc who knew a great deal about neurology (a specialist had educated her on febrile seizures). I brought up my concerns of Lexi's genetic predisposition for having febrile seizures (since I had them, Mom had them, and Lindsay's mom had them). I was very happy (better to say relieved) to learn that children who have had a febrile seizure do better on I.Q. tests and are more inclined to be advance academically. This was recently discovered and the theory behind this phenom is that children with febrile seizures have, "a more sensative brain," (according to the Peds Doc). I was doing some reading online and I guess this sensitivity is also very predominant tactilely as well. Emotionally, this "sensitivity" makes the person more aware or intuitive to their environment and so are able to adapt more quickly...Although, supposedly, it also can make them more prone to mental illness. Albiet this has something to do with the heightened sense of ones surroundings that, if not kept if not kept in-check, can lead to over empathizing (i.e. taking on the emotional weight of the environment one finds themselves in).

That was all very good for us to hear. Lexi is going to be a smarty pants!!!! So I guess febrile seizures, although traumatic, are an indicator of a smart baby!!!!! Lexi, my baby genius! I am very proud to have a febrile baby, well - you know what I mean.

I am sad to say we are going to miss playing in the nursery for yet another week.

PS. If you start to feel sick I apologize. I have had a few other people I have been around get some of the same symptoms that I have.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Thoughts From Jeff said...


This is probably not the place to post this, but I was wondering if you have time; if you will chat about or discuss Mark's recent message where he throws everyone under the bridge on emergent side and if it was prompted by SBTS

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Tony. I always need a reminder that the ministry of presence counts, even when the to-do list is beckoning.

5:33 PM  

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