It is a fact for me that everything makes a difference, and that I never know what difference something will make. My way is to know nothing about the person before we meet, not have any premade plan, not try to get the person to feel or be a certain way. My effort is to listen to the person and to what I am experiencing, and respond from a combination of those two in an open, honesst, respectful way, and hope for the best. I trust the process as it's happening. I think when doing that I'm with the person -- I believe each of us is ultimately alone even when very with someone, which I think is preferable to being only alone. I went to lunch with a guy who began the conversation asking me, "What have you been thinking about lately?" I loved that. I've used that, or asked "What's happening? "or "Where are you at?" And then listen. When I do all this, I'm thinking about myself and the other in a way that feels satisfying to me.
On May 19, 2023 David Doane wrote :