Thursday, February 27, 2014

Intimidating Intrigue

I am easily intimidated. Though, at the same time, easily intrigued. It is the former than I have found much of my life to have fallen subject to and the latter that I hope to pursue with more vehemence as I age. In this practice, I hope that my strings to intimidation will be loosened.

The intimidation is a strong stakeholder in my need for distraction. To fuel this need I depend on books, music and screens. Like many, I disconnect from my surroundings by connecting to a network that stretches far beyond places I would naturally be able to see.

Far beyond places I would naturally be able to see.

What's left, then, of the places around me?

Luckily, for now, they are still there. But they might not be tomorrow. This possibility is a strong stakeholder in my need to be intrigued. This possibility forces me to put my iPhone into my back pocket, pull the headphones out of my ears, and walk. And when I walk without distraction, I see. I hear. I smell. I touch.

I am not intimidated by inanimate objects, inhuman objects. Such things are easy for me to observe and from that ease grows ready enjoyment. I look to detailed architecture, delicate pathways, budding flowers, crashing water. I take in the character of each, store it in my heart, and move on.

It is the character of others that I find intimidating. From the decrepit homeless man on the street to the beautiful woman on the bus; they, and everyone in between, have potential to render me intimidated. Strong laughter and hunched shoulders and high heels and scarred faces and long curls and...they make me want to shrink away into distraction, a distraction provided all too easily by books and music and laptops and iPhones. Only a hand reach away, I can be transported beyond where my eyes can see.

Which is what I have always tended to do.

Until now.

I am actively trying to face this intimidation with intrigue, force my eyes to search instead of back away from the character of others. What is their story?, I want to know. Because, although I might be intimidated, although I want to shrink, I do not. With my shoulders held back and my head held high, and with a look put together to readily meet public eye, I think, am I, too, intimidating?

I don't know the answer to this, and I don't care to. Instead, I try to see beyond what is in front of me. I am looking, yes. But am I seeing?

Always, I want to know more. I don't know how or if I'll ever get there, but I do know this: I must always be intrigued. I must always be awake. I must always look to see what the immediate eye can reach.

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