I’ve always had sly fondness for “so.” As a social starter, it used to go something like this: “So,” the best friend might say with twinkling eyes, “what happened last night?” The gossip wags, “So…guess I saw together in the bar?
“So” hangs at the edge of the story, but doesn’t have the whole story. It was a tool of wits who play at the art of conversation. I remember my six-year-old daughter, in full mimic style, placing her chin on her laced fingers. “So,” she said to me as a lady of the world, “how are you?”
I’m intrigued by the trend of people launching into social media in media res. “So I’m sitting in my car…” I and three thousand other of your closest friends lace our fingers and slide forward. But where are we in that floating ongoing conversation? There are three thousand other ongoing conversations, not to mention the conversation of people we live with in our houses, dorms and cities, not to mention other ongoing conversations. The political conversation, the Trump conversation, the climate change and spring conversation.
We seem to be unfortunate intimates in the crazy Trump conversation. Like many others, I’m choosing, at least today, to be a part of the flowering tree conversation. It’s late May, and spring has been a long time in coming. “So you thought we’d never get here,” the trees say, the dogwood, cherry and magnolia branches layered like lateral Japanese fans. “You thought we’d abandoned you.” They lean their bright faces forward to us: “So.”