I See You

"OPENING",  2000,  30" x 45", m/m

"OPENING", 2000, 30" x 45", m/m

When I really feel together out in the world I connect.

If I’m strong and solid and have enough left over to give, I do that.

Yesterday, it looked like this:

A friend picked me up and we had lunch. I felt good enough to really notice what OTHER people might be feeling.

Our waiter liked that I asked him how his day was going. The young woman who brought us water sparkled when I said thank you and later when I said she was beautiful, which she was in the most innocent of ways.

When I’m stressed I don’t notice these things..or at least some weird kind of resentment prevents me from acknowledging others in a civil and ‘fellow human’ kind of way.  I might think it but don’t say it.

I just love it when I can. It may be the thing that makes me happiest; this connected feeling I get from the smallest of acknowledgements. Taking the time to pause for a moment, look in someone’s eyes and see who’s there and reflect that back to them in some way.

It happened later at the shoe store too..

I really hate shopping. Haven’t the energy so I put it off. And I put it off… Especially in the shoe department. I need something flat with structure. No bumpy things on the sole to catch on carpets. Black to go with everything. Not too ugly or orthodic looking but my orthodic supports need to fit inside them. No ties. I have to feel cool AND safe.

And so I usually have only one pair of shoes I wear every day. Nuff’ said, I think?

I needed shoes. So we went.

I noticed a slight Native American woman and she asked if she might help us.

My friend and I picked out a few shoes we liked and continued browsing.

When I looked around, I saw she had taken each pair out of the box and lined them up so beautifully for us to try on.

I listened to my friend and I immediately slip into the ‘girl’s footwear trance’. That state of mind where everything disappears except the shoe at hand; does it fit? is it good looking? affordable? practical? and on and on and on….

I saw our lovely salesperson practicing patience. She had disappeared to us completely. I hated that all of a sudden. She had too much substance to be invisible.

So I stopped to ask her how it was to sell shoes?

She came back with:” Well, you’d never believe that with all this technology we have; new fabrics, construction, ways of supporting the foot.. women STILL have the same level of stress and anxiety finding the right pair of shoes. I think it was better when we didn’t have so many choices.”

Well, I would have missed that interesting and, I think, important comment if I’d been so full of myself to notice.

When we left the store, I said : “River (her name)- it was really nice to meet you.”

She looked me in the eye and said the same.

It was a moment. Full. Precious. We SAW each other in some way. The ‘human being’ tribe.

It was a highlight of my day, that small interaction. It was beyond culture and intellect. It happened because we both WITNESSED each other in that little moment.

So simple… So utterly fulfilling to be SEEN.

I really think that the experience of being SEEN TRULY is what EVERY person on this planet wants most.

And how easy it is to give that gift..

If we only take the time to find others equally as fascinating as we do ourselves.


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