Thursday, January 14, 2010

Open your eyes

"untitled" (found photograph)
keep art alive ~ artist unknown

"Every minute from this minute now,
we can do what we like anywhere.
I want so much to open your eyes,
'cause I need you to look into mine."

Open Your Eyes :: Snow Patrol
Open Your Eyes (live) :: Snow Patrol

I was thinking this morning how most of the time in our everyday lives, especially in terms of one-on-one relationships, we are terrible listeners. But, more than that, we are neglectful viewers, too. We either look away at the wrong time, open our eyes when we should shield them, and more often then not, shut them tightly when we should have paid attention. How many times have you asked yourself, or said to a close friend, "How did I not notice?" "How did I not know?" "How did I not see this coming?"

Most of our lives we are taught to pretend; well, "pretend" is a nice way of putting it. It is the way my Grandmother would have packaged it to make it sound a lot less stinging then to say we are taught to lie. We are told to put on a smile, a happy face, to say we are okay, to play games that trick and deceive, to fake it until we believe (or someone else believes), and to sell ourselves no matter how we have to embellish the facts.

But, the truth in all those deceits is we are all terrible liars. We say things that reveal who we are everyday, and we show our hand of cards, even if for just a split second, at the very start of the game itself. We want to be seen. We want to be caught. We want someone to say "Hey, it's okay, you can cut the bullshit and just be you." We just have no idea how to ask for that. It would make us weak, right? Vulnerable, exposed, and shown for the complete and utter catastrophe that we really and truly are?

Despite our resistance, our well-worn masks, and our years of training to not show ourselves, we do show ourselves in a million different ways. Maybe it is in those infamous tics that we show when we lie, or in the way we posture ourselves, or hold our hands out, or away. Or perhaps it is in those words between the words, the symbolic unspoken truths that literary scholars are always after. We are no different than the great novels, its just very few people will ever look at us with that much interest nor intent to discover.

Sometimes, though, I want to scream at everyone I know to open their eyes (scream at myself most of all, admittedly) and see what is right there in front of each of us. Take off the sunglasses, the rose-tint lenses, and the "I'm going to see what I want to see, see you as I want you to be" goggles and just look. We are not the stuff of daydreams, and we are all so flawed and broken, but beautiful still.

Look around, really look at people, and see what everyone is trying to show. listen closely, with care, and open your eyes.

"Jump with your eyes open." ~ Harry Stevenson, Feast of Love

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