SEE OR STARE
The more I stare at you the more you seem to go away.
But with one good look, the less I stare, the more you’re there.
I saw a short animated film one time depicting how a frog sees. If the film was accurate, frogs can only see things which are moving. It made for an interesting experience, where the frog was essentially blind until wind blew the tall grass in front of him, a fly flew by, or rain fell. Things really picked up when he leapt – in essence into the void – and the whole world was spinning beneath him until he landed, and everything went back to a grey flatness.
Sometimes I get so bored. OK, many times over the course of my life I have gotten bored. With my job, or music or poetry or tv or life. And things that ordinarily interest or even fascinate me seem to lose their luster. (Oh sure, like it’s their fault!)
Bored with myself and the words coming out of my mouth or rolling around inside my head – many of which I suddenly feel I have thought or said countless times before. There’s a great line in “As Good as it Gets”. Greg Kinnear’s character (who has been robbed and severely beaten and is both broke and broken) says that he needs some new thoughts. I go through periods where I get tired of even words and thoughts themselves, particularly the ones in my own mind.
“What on Earth are you talking about – and what does it have to do with a black and white frog on a brick step?!” (BTW, it’s a Cope’s gray tree frog. http://srelherp.uga.edu/anurans/hylchr.htm)
Sometimes I think that after living with a situation for a long time we become so accustomed to what we see every day that – in essence – we start to see through it. Not necessarily in the sense of “seeing inside it” or behind its surface appearance, or a person’s pretense. But see through it as though it’s not there. Become so acclimated or adjusted to places or things or words or whatever that they almost disappear. We take them for granted. Inured to them. We sort of (subconsciously) say, “OK, I know what that is and what that’s about – I can just ignore it now.”
A certain degree of this can be necessary and good – a helpful, if temporary, escape. Too much, though, can be bad. Bad enough with circumstances, but it can be really bad when we do it to people. Just stop seeing them because we think we “know” them, think we “get” them. And can now sort of put them aside, categorized.
It’s probably why it’s good to move around in our way of seeing people. See them from different perspectives. No, I don’t have any specific, tangible examples. My mother used to say that she was an abstract thinker, and I think I kind of am one, too. Tangibles can be hard for me to come by. Live too much in my head, maybe. (To be fair, it has more to do with my wanting to finish writing this post and get on with it. I have dozens of half-posts written that I can never quite seem to finish…)
I’m pretty sure I’m right about this, though. 8^).
Just like a frog may need for a situation to be dynamic, in flux, or moving to be able to properly assess it – and how and if and when it needs to catch a fly or dodge a car – we may have to sometimes move (at least metaphorically) to not lose sight of our surroundings. And the people in them.