Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Connections with strangers

Tall Penguin wrote about something that I hadn't thought upon for some time. Like so many things she writes about, I feel that there is a lot of insight in what she sees and how she writes about it. This one was about how it seems like the deepest connections we feel that we share are with strangers. It moved me to respond, and I am reposting it here:
This is one of the strongest sensations of attraction I have felt. It's not [always] been a physical one (per se), but it can be almost a physical tugging, like a slap upside the head to pay attention, or a bolt from the blue. I've shared those in the past when looking across a room, down a street, on the bus, etc. It's scary and wonderful at the same time, especially in that moment after eye-contact when you know (somehow) that they are looking back at you in the same way.

That wonder comes from standing at that brink of wondering - playing with the idea, really - of whether it would be a good idea to walk over there and say hello. Your mind might even play along snippets of conversation you [think you] see reflected in those eyes.

And then - more often than not - that transient location in which that connection was made brusquely intrudes, safely whisking each of you away from a "what-if" conversation, a "what-if" touch, a "what-if" life... leaving you with that sense of something special shared - self, perhaps? - yet yours alone.

In those rare instances when reality doesn't impose itself, the rising crest of that potential moment transforms from the initial casual-glance-turned-fixed-stare into a seemingly insurmountable mountain of your mind's fears, hopes, dreams, expectations; likely something that neither of you will attempt to climb. Yet, in that case, too, after you - or the other - turn (achingly slowly) away, you hold that sense of a shared self with you.

Sometimes for a long time.

Human contact - a great, wondrous, curious, annoyingly addictive thing, no?

1 comment:

tall penguin said...

As I said in reply on my blog, it is a beautiful thing to enjoy those moments of connection with "strangers". They are holy moments. I wonder what our world would look like if all our interactions contained such presence.