Last night John and I took his son, who is visiting us, to a nearby brewpub for their trivia night. Locally there is a company that hosts these events weekly across our area at an assortment of bars and restaurants. When we were living in Toronto, we had our pub just up the street where we would regularly go to their weekly trivia game, have dinner and bemoan the gap between our perceived brilliance and our results in the team standings (usually very low). Since moving here, we’re still trying to sort out which of the multiple trivia venues will become “our” pub and last night’s selection was the third in our search.

This week we happily performed a bit better; having a younger mind more in tune with music (see what I did there?) and social media trends certainly boosted our standings.

Non-trivial gatherings

What I love about these events (there has to be something because it certainly isn’t the glory or bragging rights) is that within a room you have a bunch of strangers, all participating, laughing and enjoying the same thing. People who, until this night, have likely never happened upon one another, yet here we were, all joined in our collected love of dredging up minute bits of information in the hopes that your recollection of these ‘trivial’ tidbits is more complete than everyone else’s.

This feels the same to me, on a much smaller scale, as being at a concert. It never fails to bring me to tears when at the concert of any favourite musician or band, at some point in the evening, you can look around and see a stadium of strangers, singing collectively a song we all know by heart with all of our hearts. It sounds to be in one voice; all of these individuals bound together. What a beautiful thing.

The more you pay attention…

If you pay attention, this phenomenon happens more often that you might think and usually in mundane circumstances. In line at the grocery store, waiting at a doctor’s office or travelling by any form of public transit. In those moments we are connected to strangers through our commonality. It’s the main reason, I think, why I’m not bothered having dinner alone at a restaurant; I’m not really there alone, look at all these people here with me for the exact same reason!

These are the thoughts that distract my mind; what has brought these previously unknown people to be present with me in this moment? In what other ways are we the same? And what makes us different? I’m not sure if I’m the only one who’s mind trundles off on these tangents but I can’t imagine that’s true. So, I pay attention. I look around at the people surrounding me, trying to see if there is another person’s whose gaze is saying the same thing as mine…

Isn’t this cool that we’re all here together? It’s great to be here with you.

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