Sunday Candy #23
An Ode to Conversation and Connection & Before Sunrise, Little Joys, Currents of Connection ft. Elizabeth Edwards
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🎥 An Ode to Conversation and Connection & Before Sunrise 
How deeply can you get to know a person in one day?
Recently, I found myself sharing my appreciation for the film Before Sunrise directed by Richard Linklater, for how it effectively captures the rawness of deep conversations and the human connection that develops through them.
Naturally, I can’t stop thinking about this.
The film encapsulates an unraveling of selves through one ongoing conversation between two strangers. It’s visual poetry. And that’s my fucking jam.
In short, two people, Jesse [Ethan Hawke] and Celine [Julie Delpy], meet on a train and decide to spend 24 hours in Vienna getting to know each other. It’s a simple story, but in my opinion, incredibly profound.
Why? If you think about it, we all have people in our lives we’ve known for years who don’t really “know” us. On one hand, history and time are simply not an indication of intimacy between people. Then there’s what I previously expressed in Sunday Candy Issue #5:
“Have you ever felt deeply disconnected from a friend sitting across the table from you? Or lived with someone and never felt truly seen by them?
Physical proximity isn’t a measure or promise of closeness to others.”
But there’s also the fact that none of us are entirely knowable. So how can you really get to know someone in 24 hours or any short amount of time for that matter? And what does it even mean to know a person?
Either way, much like Before Sunrise shows us, I think you can definitely develop a deep connection in a limited amount of time through conversation, and I do believe conversations are one of the most beautiful and worthwhile things you can share or attempt to share with others in this lifetime.
Thinking about and watching these fictional characters plunge headfirst into the depths of connection makes me contemplate my own relationship to conversations and connection.
Much like the way I’m seduced by words and language, I’m fascinated and enchanted by deep conversations. Perhaps because of my obsessive desire to understand humanity, seek truth and honesty, and my gnawing yearning to connect, whatever the reason, some of my most favorite memories throughout my life have been simple moments of great conversation.
And why wouldn’t they be?
I love the ephemeral nature of conversations. The way they sizzle away in time and space just as quickly as they’re conjured. I’m intoxicated by the cryptic nature of what is said and how, but mostly, what is often left unsaid, and what we decide to keep locked away forever.
There is so much to bask in and dissect. Vulnerability, interruptions, hedging, and power dynamics. The type of questions asked and the ways they’re asked, to the answering or even refusal to answer. And then there’s my favorite aspect: the lushness of silence. It’s cosmic.
There’s something dazzling about deep conversations not being preplanned or precisely arranged, the way they’re characterized by a free flowing spiraling, with at times, an awkward shuffling, a stepping of toes and crashing of limbs, at risk of being cataclysmic, but still punctured in perfection in their own way. It’s verbal experimental jazz with humanity as both instrument and melody.
But I’m also intrigued by and enamored with the self-discovery that takes place through another person in these conversations. I love bridging the gap between what is familiar and unfamiliar in myself. There’s often, I find, a degree of expansiveness in the self that takes place during a conversation when there exists a deepening of the connection. It can, I think, propel one to not just connect with another deeply, but to connect with oneself.
I’m rambling, because really, I’m disoriented by its whimsy.
But I think the character Celine gets it right when she says:
“If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something.
I know it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.”
So while Before Sunrise can easily and most obviously be seen as an ode to love and travel, at its heart, I see it as more of an ode to the inherently divine nature of conversation and connection.
Here’s a glimpse:
✨ Little Joys
✨This interview with Patti Smith from 2012, where she talks about building a good name, pursuing what you want, and suffering being part of the package of life. Even though it’s from over a decade ago, it feels incredibly relevant.
✨ The Nostalgia Machine, a website that lets you pick a year, and then gives you a collection of YouTube videos of the most popular songs from that year.
✨ “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye: “Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore.”
🎶Guest Playlist ft. Elizabeth Edwards
We’re shaking things up at Sunday Candy this week!
Friend, and writer, artist, & museum enthusiast,, not only painted a vibrant wavy whirl of colors for today’s cover photos, but she’s also making history with the first guest playlist: Currents of Connection.
That’s right, Elizabeth, has gathered, plucked, and sorted a collection of warm and dancey songs filled with declarations of love and themes of navigating connection just for you.
It’s an eclectic mix that includes TV Girl, Spice Girls (hell yeah), a 15 minute live Grateful Dead song (because why not???!), and she even sends us home with a back to back Gaga closer. Perfection?? Absolutely. Are you buzzing with anticipation? You should be.
Click below to listen and leave a comment to let us know what you think.
And when you’re done grooving along, do yourself a favor and head on over to Elizabeth’s newsletter,to check out her artwork and writing.
Elizabeth’s paintings, like these daffodils, are a ballad of brushstrokes.
Similarly, her essays are a treat in their own right and a personal favorite of mine.
On her Substack, you’ll find the untouchably sentimental Heavy Heirlooms, where Elizabeth shares the struggle of letting go of her grandpa’s home and embodying his legacy, and the short, but beautifully insightful MET Musings, an essay that explores how she views the MET and the art within it, as an immersive experience.
Intrigued? Check them out for yourself below.
That’s a wrap on Sunday Candy #23!
As always, drop a comment, leave a like, or hit reply. I’m wondering, what’s resonating with you this week? What’s on your mind? Don’t be shy. Hearing from you makes my day.
Truly deep conversations are frightening when they creep up on you. You and a friend will just be babbling about nothing when one of you throws out a supposition and the other takes it by the throat and drags it across both of your mental landscapes. (This doesn't happen with three or more and, contrary to Hollywood, it doesn't resemble anything like the depiction of conversations during drug-induced altered states.)
The first time this happened to me, I was a young teenager. My best friend and I seriously contemplated the paradox of the irresistible force encountering an immovable object. Neither of us had settled on the obvious conclusion, being too young to have had any philosophical training.
Despite that, I never forgot the feeling of "Whoa! What is my brain doing right now?" And, it's the exact same feeling every single time! I think you've described it perfectly: enchanting.
"There is so much to bask in and dissect. Vulnerability, interruptions, hedging, and power dynamics. The type of questions asked and the ways they’re asked, to the answering or even refusal to answer. And then there’s my favorite aspect: the lushness of silence. It’s cosmic."
What a great paragraph. Echo this, so totally and fully. It's true for conversations, it's true for new relationships, it's true in hearings before judges. Almost all of life feels like this dance to me, sometimes. And the time-space emptiness of silence in between is actually cosmic. What a great way to put it.
Lovely essay. :)