"Bernard" - needled felted wool over armature. Inquiries.
Inigo: He's dead. He can't talk.
Miracle Max: Hoo hoo hoo! Look who knows so much, heh? Well, it just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Please, open his mouth. Now, mostly dead is slightly alive. Now, all dead...well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.
[Max puts the bellows to Westley's mouth, and blows air in.] Hey! Hello in there! Hey! What's so important? What you got here that's worth living for?
Westley: T-R-U-E L-O-V-E.
Inigo: "True Love", you heard him? You could not ask for a more noble cause than that.
from The Princess Bride
Well you heard the man, what you got here that's worth living for? A great question to ask anyone you want to know better. And it's hard to be upset about [insert problem here] when you're counting the reasons you want to be around. There are a lot of questions you can ask people to foster a closer connection, including this list from some folks who wanted to try to make people fall in love.
One guy tried answering these questions with his partner. And here's what he said: The questions reminded me of the infamous boiling frog experiment in which the frog doesn’t feel the water getting hotter until it’s too late. With us, because the level of vulnerability increased gradually, I didn’t notice we had entered intimate territory until we were already there, a process that can typically take weeks or months.
Maybe that's something to consider. We have a lot of major societal divides to conquer and foster common ground right now. A fast-track to connection sounds like something we can do.
I think about these kinds of things when needle felting. "Bernard" was good company while convalescing. A sense of accomplishment without leaving the chair. And though he isn't a painting, he is a creation. While I continue to hibernate with tea, tissues and cold medicine, enjoy a little Billy Crystal. :)