Monday, June 12, 2006

A moment of clarity?

It’s a common practice.

We take the things we see, the things we know, the things we do. The things we are. We take them, and we gather them together in a pocket of our mind, so that we may carry them around with us, day after day after day after day. Hoping that they’ll clack together and make a single spark, a spark that for one instant will give us enough light to make it clear.

I’m carrying something.

At first it was an image, something that I had picked up in a flash-frame of existence; a moment that my eyes saw as special, and my brain chose to remember. And despite my thoughts about it now, I can be certain of the reason that it was chosen to begin with. The image that I beheld, that moment, struck me as something to remember, something that I could look back toward in later years and say “Yes.”

It was something beautiful.
A face with soft features, lightly tinged with a rim of red light. Looking away.

It began as an image. Something beautiful to keep with me, just a nice thought to turn to on days when the sun burns down and the world feels like it’s preparing to boil over. It’s something different, now. Something different than it was initially meant to represent, all because of something else. Just another spark, and suddenly that moment -- that moment became clear.

Just what became clear? What sense did I reach, through the addition of sudden context? Somewhere that we haven’t quite reached. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet.

Apparently, I don’t smile very much.

People have said it of me. They’ve spoken of how my face doesn’t fit the cheery disposition of the collected conversation, of how the structure of my cheeks and the look in my eyes appears to telegraph sadness. I’ve never really noticed. But only recently, I decided to think about it. To think of a face. To make clear the notion that a face without a smile doesn’t always carry a frown. So what does it carry?

Why, nothing at all.

It’s our face. OUR FACE. Not the face that reacts, the face we wear in accordance with the context of situations. Not the face that serves to declare our perception of events, the one we bring to the roundtable discussion for the purpose of scowling when someone chooses to bring up the issue of creationism. Think about it. Think about how people see the things that your face says, how they think it makes you clear. They look at it, and they perceive. Perception shapes reality.

But that doesn’t make it real.

Look in the mirror, at your face that presents nothing. At the face you have when you’ve been quietly sitting in the dark, mulling over whichever possibility has darted out at you like a lizards tongue. At your shoulders, neither stiff nor slumped, simply there. At your malleable self. Is it clear what that will become?

Or is that what we are to begin with?
I think, I guess, I assume… it’s the real face. The one we have for ourselves.

The one that we keep when we’re locked in our own worlds.
The one that has no context, so that it cannot be easily understood; and for that reason, is the one that speaks with more clarity about what we want and who we are than any simple smile or frown. Something that takes work for any who wish to puzzle it out. Making sense of accumulated data, putting pictures on words and forming words into cogency. Finding clarity. But does clarity always mean quality? Is that what we need, just blocks lined up in a row, ready to be shot down by some hillybilly with a daisy air rifle and a "YEEHA!" welling in the depths of his throat?

It's just another thing I've been thinking about. Maybe it doesn't make sense, which brings us to the point, in some wackitudinal post-modern roundabout manner. Maybe it sounds good.

Maybe it doesn’t.

But whatever the concepts are, whether or not the reality of my perception isn’t real…the malleable self is there. And every so often, it comes out from underneath the underneath, a moment of silence in the midst of all the talk. Whenever that face comes out, all can become clear, if you take notice.

It’s certainly something beautiful. Just like a face with soft features, lightly tinged with a rim of red light. Looking away.

Looking away.

There it is. The instant where all could have been known, if I was only observant enough to bother knowing about it. But guys like me always think things are going well until we’ve been told that they didn’t. So it was, that the moment was gone, existing only as an image until this morning. This morning when it came back to me. When the image slowly morphed into something else. Perception reshaped my reality.

And so it’s trapped within me, that moment, that image, that impression. A face with soft features, lightly tinged with a rim of red light.
Looking away.
I’d like to think that it matters. It's a rare thing when I understand the context of any little anything that I suddenly find in my life.

That hasn't changed, not this day.

But thinking -- not knowing -- something doesn’t change how things are. Could be I’m wrong. Could be I’m here, making mountains out of molehills, musing about images that might have said something with the quiet of human expression.

In truth, it probably means nothing.

But there is still something. Even amidst all of this, all of this confusion and searching, wondering and thinking, hoping and dreaming, my malleable self can find something that molds it into a smile.

Someone said that they respect me.

And respect is real, if it’s been earned. As it stands, I’m not sure if I’ve earned it yet. But I can most certainly give it a try.

And that -- that is clearly something beautiful.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You assume that there are constants, "orginals."

You were close to hitting it with, "Perception shapes reality." What is reality to you or anyone but the way we see things from our perspective. Reality doesn't exist, only perception.

I share a similar view on the simple physical nature of a face. A face without a smile, a frown, or physical expression of emotion isn't just a face. An emotionless face is a face hiding something or just not showing whatever is on the inside.

Maybe I'm thinking too deeply on it. It is late. I should get some sleep.

1:50 AM  

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