The other day, in a social situation, I was in a conversation with someone whom I’d recently met, and I was about to tell a brief story when our conversation was interrupted by a third person.
I felt a twinge of frustration, but I retained the mild pleasure of anticipation that goes with knowing you have something interesting to say, and you’re about to say it, even if you have to wait a few moments.
In this case, the interruption lasted about fifteen seconds, during which I had time to reevaluate the wisdom of sharing the story I had in mind. Not to be overly cryptic about it; my little story was not gossip, but it did bear on what I presumed might be my listener’s spiritual beliefs.
I realized in those fifteen seconds that I didn’t need to tell the story, and that in fact I didn’t want to tell it, at least not yet, certainly not until I knew this person better.
I’ve experienced this fairly often lately. Not usually as emphatically as I did the other day, but frequently, little interruptions come as moments of grace, spaces of time during which I can reconsider what I’m about to say. Then I might choose not to say it, or at least to say it differently.