Nourishing Community During A Pandemic

Rainer Marie Rilke, in his book “Letters to a Young Poet,” writes about the notion of “living the questions.” When we are confronted with questions we can’t answer, we are called to live into the questions themselves—until we find that we can live our way into the answers.

Rilke got me thinking about what it might not only mean to live into the questions, but to live into the conversations.

As part of the Living Room Conversations ecosystem, you’re helping to clear a path for a new kind of conversation. Together, we’re expanding our collective imaginations from the debate-persuade-convince model of our school days, and infusing the world with an infectious way of coming together.

New conversations create new possibilities.  Like all emergent phenomena, this kind of conversation begins in our bodies.

We breathe more deeply. Our shoulders relax. As our pulse slows down, our defenses loosen. Now we’re ready to draw out the story behind the story of who we are, why we act the way we do, and what we are capable of, together.

Living the conversations stretches us beyond an isolated event.  This is conversation as practice, a commitment to a value system, a way of living that extends far beyond the confines of any one particular living room.

While living the questions might be an individual pursuit, living the conversations can never be. The root of the word “conversation” is “living among.”  Our style of mutually affirming conversations is, in itself, an act of creating community.

Our question becomes, then, how do we nourish community through our conversation practice? How can we invigorate our common life together during a pandemic, in an era of physical distancing?

Nurturing community digitally is just one of the ways we’re committed to supporting your practice of living the conversations.

Take our refreshed Living Room Conversations Facebook group.

Previously the group’s purpose was to help people find participants for Living Room Conversations. But we’re learning, thanks to your feedback, that we can do so much more in that space.

Now, we’ll be getting to know each other across our differences, sharing experiences after our conversations, and making connections outside our core conversations.

We’ve invested in a dedicated team, led by Justine Lee, who brings her experience shaping digital community at Make America Dinner Again, to moderate and shape the discussions.

But we need YOU to be part of it.
Please join us HERE, today.

We’d love to spotlight the ways you’re nourishing community through Living Room Conversations in these challenging times. We’ll be drawing on the stories you share in the Facebook group in future newsletters (there’s a sneak peak from one conversation host, below).

Ultimately, living the conversations is a decision we make every day to weave our lives together.

Shannon Mannon
Newsletter Editor