I apologize for being absent these last couple of days. It was time for me to travel to DC for my six-month transplant check-up, and thank God it was a non-event. What was an event was catching up with a few old friends Saturday night, and the downer was not having time to visit others. One highlight was returning to St. John’s to hear Luis Leon preach, and to later break bread with Luis, Lu, Ginger, and others at the Bombay Club after church. As we traveled to DC we encountered the first glimpses of Autumn – where the colored leaves set in bold relief against the cloudless canopy of royal blue.

One of the things that often happens when you go home, or visit friends, or encounter someone new is we engage in what Buechner calls – chit chat games. We ask someone, “How are you?” In reality, not really wanting to hear about the responder’s “shingles” or “hemorrhoids.” So the responder says, “Fine, how are you?” again not wanting to really hear that you “lost your job” or “wrecked your car.” Sadly we often continue to play such games with those we are closest. We play more complicated games to keep everyone at arm’s length from another, to hide from one another our humanity, and to only meet in disguise and without touch.

However, we do have to begin a conversation, and safety and cordiality are often are beginnings of deeper relationships. To merely play chit games and to treat them as the end of the conversation rather than a beginning is to miss out on the potential for knowing someone who can offer much to our lives.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. Dear Webb,

    So, dear friend, was passing off your follow-up visit to the surgeon as a “non-event” an example of chit-chat? (smile) I have a feeling that most of us who follow your blog and know you are either jumping for joy with a perception that “non-event” means the exam result were very positive…. or clutching our chests, wondering if “non-event” means the appointment was cancelled. While I certainly understand that this blog may not be the place to share lab results, please know that you are widely loved, respected, and people (me included) just want to know that all is ok!

    Your friend,

  2. Thanks Tom. i didn’t mean to be vague. The news on my transplant results are all positive, thus a non-event. There’s no bad news or concerns. I’m still a walking miracle. Webb

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