Sunday, October 19, 2008

a cup of good faith

I had a well-timed surprise on Saturday morning. I had just finished eating my breakfast and browsing through my favorite blogs when I heard a knock on the door.

There stood my friend John. I had meant to call him all week to see if he and his wife were free for dinner. And there he was inviting me to brunch. Because I was egg-filled, I suggested getting a cup of coffee.

I have not been in a modern coffee house -- ever. Our little town is filled with them. But I do not like any food that begins with the letter "c" -- and coffee is high on the list. But I wanted to hear what was on John's mind, so coffee it was.

I once worked with John. He is one of those brilliant fellows with a doctorate in philosophy who always has some interesting take on the world.

John introduced me to Tamara de Lempicka -- or, rather to her art. Tamara had long been in the grave before either of us was born. For that reason alone, I shared my post:
seducing tadeusz. Even though I write for myself, I still get a kick out of people enjoying my work. John was more than appreciative. Stopping me. Rolling phrases over the tongue.

And, of course, we had to discuss the reason for the post -- trying to keep voters' expectations within a semblance of reality.

John often despairs for the nation's future. And I am a good foil. I believe we are resilient enough to withstand almost any catastrophe.

Time slipped by amazingly fast. After almost two hours of argument (not the pejorative use), we needed to return to our respective lives.

But, more than anything, I realized that we had been talking about matters of religion, politics, social relations, and the economy, agreeing on almost nothing. But we did not shout. Did not attack the other person's motives. Did not insult each other (beyond the point Niles may have insulted Fraser). And I think I know why.

Earlier this month, in
feasting without grace, I noted that any topic can be discussed as long as we assume that the other person is arguing in good faith. It does not mean that we must compromise our principles, only that I accept that the other person actually believes his position as much as I believe mine. Then we find common ground.

It was a delightful two hours with a friend whose integrity I value. Even if it did involve coffee.


Michael Dickson said...

You don´t like chocolate?!!

Steve Cotton said...

I realize I may be listed as a "C"ommunist, but I do not like chocolate. Neither does my brother. Must be genetic.

Anonymous said...

it's always so nice to catch up with old friends-did that when i moved back to lake stevens. they all fed me, free food and great company, what better way to spend a few hours? speaking of food, you commented on laurie's blog that you never met a chicken dish you didn't like. o.k. so you don't like chocolate, you can give me your share ;-) but what about chicken?

take care steve and have a great day!


Rosana Hart said...

Steve, this is off-topic but I wanted to post it here on your blog where I'd be sure you'd see it.

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your frequent comments on my blog about life in Mexico. Blogging is such a matter of putting oneself "out there," and it's really nice to know someone else IS out there. Sure, I can look at my web stats, but they are a bit dry.

Thanks again,

glorv1 said...

Glad you had a nice time with your friend John. Chocolate is good with a hint of chili in it. Have a great Sunday.

Calypso said...

no caviar, crawfish, capers or cottontails?

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- Friendships are great. As for chocolate: it could be covered in ice cream, and I would still not care for it.

Rosana -- I have learned an incredible amount from the blogger community. But, more important, I have met a group of people I really like. I find myself looking forward to having these blog conversations each day.

Teresa and John -- You may think you have found me out, but my system works well. Even though I cannot stand creamed corn, cream cheese, and cheese cake, I love (to use your examples): pollo, roe, écrevisse, kapers, and rabbit. Not to mention queso, maize, and orange root vegetables.

Anonymous said...

that gave me a good chuckle!

thanks, i needed that ;-)


Michael Dickson said...

Anyone who dislikes creamed corn, cheesecake, cream cheese, etc., is highly suspect. This changes everything. Why didn´t you tell us this right off the bat?

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- Glad to oblige.

Michael -- Building friendships is like dating. No one puts the warts on the table first (to create another cusine metaphor). Of course, that "c" list is rather limited. But I do love pie. And I have already signed up for the specialty of the Dickson household: corn bread. Redemption may be just a short walk down the block.

Anonymous said...

OK Steve,

How could you disavow food beginning with the letter "C," and then a day later write a post about needing "C"heese with your apples? And by the way, you've written about that particular "C" food before too.

Tsk, tsk....

By the way, lots of food in Mexico begins with "C." Chile...carne...crema... chilaquiles...caldo... carnitas...ceviche... the list goes on. You might find moving south is a slimming experience.


Kim G
Boston,"Cream Pie" MA

Babs said...

I'm SO glad you qualified that it is food with the letter "c" that you don't like. Because if it was everything with a "c", like canoodling, which Michael likes so much, I'm afraid he'd have a posse at the border.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- It is queso with a q. Ah, well, the c story is nothing more than a device to get out of eating chocolate, coffee, cream cheese, cheese cake, and creamed corn -- all of which I truly do not like.

Babs -- There are many c words (nouns and verbs) that are the very essence of what I am.