Side-by-Side and Face-to-Face

I like things side-by-side. Sally likes things face-to-face.

I like talking side-by-side on long walks. Sally likes talking face-to-face on the sofa, or at restaurants, or in her therapist’s office.

I like hanging out side-by-side watching movies or series on Netflix. Sally likes hanging out face-to-face, conversing with others in small groups about the things that matter to them.

I like working side-by-side in our mutual office, each of us following our individual pursuits in the presence of the other. Sally likes working face-to-face on the same project, collaborating and discussing and deciding and enacting together as a team.

I like editing my books side-by-side, each of us reading and tweaking and sharing things over email. Sally likes editing face-to-face, meeting and discussing and chewing things over.

I like side-to-side because it’s not so overwhelming. Without the constant pressure of the face-to-face, I can more easily get in touch with who I am, what I think, what I want, and how I feel.

Sally likes face-to-face because… well, I’m not sure I really understand why Sally likes things face-to-face. She’ll probably tell us in a comment.

Maybe she’s crazy.

8 Comments for “Side-by-Side and Face-to-Face”

Sally Erickson


Well, that’s a line and a hook with a juicy worm on it!

I’m an empath. I like seeing people’s eyes get misty. Their eyes go misty and my heart warms up and expands and I feel full and connected and “enough.”

I like to see the “lights go on” when an epiphany happens. I like to see the crinkle around the eyes with the recognition of a new and exciting idea that just emerged. My heart rate goes up just a bit and I feel open and happy and anxious to see what’s going to happen next on that sweet human face that I’m witnessing.

I like to see the smile. The real, genuine smile of satisfaction when someone else is creative or satisfied with that amazing taste they just tasted or thought they just had. It reminds me of my own sweet moments of satisfaction or creativity or relaxation.

I like to listen until it hurts, until I just can’t stand not to offer a small word of encouragement or a tickling question of inquiry or request for the other to elaborate. And I like then to have the experience of having waited until it hurt (because my ego really does think she knows best, always, about everything) and then to have the thing that really could help, the thing that actually did arise from the waiting and digesting and holding, that thing really DID emerge from something that happened between us, the combination of, the connection to, our two souls, to have THAT thing really help.

I like to SEE the eyes go down and the other’s gaze go inward and to sense the wheels turning, as I hold back my own impulse to put myself out there and instead to just sit quietly in my own skin holding witness to another’s real process. And I like to be rewarded by the unexpected thought or feeling or idea or insight that this sweet soul across from me has just articulated in the absence of my own thinking I know what’s going on.

Maybe I am crazy, since it is fairly rare that I encounter anyone else who gets off on being with other people the way I do, face to face, in that kind of sweet intimate connection.

Timothy Scott Bennett


Ha! Sally finished her comment, then asked me to sit with her while she read it out loud! I sat there and listened as best I could, hanging my head and closing my eyes, knowing that I’d have to come back and read it on my own in order to really hear it all… T


Is it okay that reading this post and the comments made me laugh a bit? and ache a bit? I thought I might ask, “How do you both manage this directional/focusing conundrum” but then you demonstrated it.

Kathy Smith


Sally, your words touched me deeply and made me cry. I felt as if I was face to face with you. Your words made me see your magnificent beauty of love, forgiveness, knowledge of self-awareness, life (past and present) birth, and death. I hope someday to meet you or perhaps we can meet face to face in a lucid dream. Sally, if you decide to write that book just think how many other souls you would touch.

Sally Erickson


Thank you for those words Kathy. Made my day! I have set out to write a number of times but have surrendered to it not being for me at this point. On the other hand perhaps this format of responding will afford me the opportunity to express in a meaningful way some of the experience that has been meaningful to my life and that may touch others. Glad it has done so in this case!



I think both can be useful at times. I only know I have my husband’s total attention when we are driving and the radio is off. He seems to really listen, think about what to say, and we can have a good discussion. Same can happen walking. But for most other people I, like Sally, want the reactions I get from others faces, eyes, smiles.

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