This morning, I’ve been re-reading the transcript of a conversation between poets Allen Tate and Stanley Kunitz that took place in 1966. The excerpt quoted below is from their riff on communication and communion.
“If you’re reading a poem, you are not receiving a communication, you’re participating in a discovery, and as a reader, you participate in that discovery as a collaborator. We use communication; we participate in communion. Any genuine work of art…is a discovery of a kind of knowledge about the human condition that we did not have before. On the contrary, the mass-medium commentator is trying to move us toward some course of action, which may be deplorable or of uncertain consequences. We had better beware of these people who communicate. I think it’s best to go off and sit by ourselves alone and read Shakespeare.” –Allen Tate, 1966. From: Communication and Communion, A Dialogue between Stanley Kunitz and Allen Tate.
To me, both communication and communion are necessary elements of culture and relationship. Both play a part in how we, as entrepreneurs and artists, meet and participate in shaping our world. But, when the exigencies of communication override or outweigh the soul’s deep desire for creative communion, we lose something essential — not just in our own lives, but in the life of our culture and society.
How do you weave the warp of communication and the weft of communion into a seamless work of art, a beautiful whole, in your business? How does the tension between these elements inform your marketing, your relationships with your readers, clients and customers? If participation and collaboration are essential values in the world of your business, how do you make a place for these in your offers, and in the culture of your business?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories and experiences around this.