TAoN No. 83: On looking again (and again). Plus: A new Missing Word, and more.
As for Vanshika Randev’s sensation observation. Here’s a poem I wrote a while back describing this a little.
I tipped my hat,
To a man,
Sitting on a bus,
Just a stranger.
He lifted his hand,
But we knew each other,
In that moment,
Going opposite directions.
A simple nod and a wave,
No need for words.
A tip of the hat,
And a wave back,
Hello, nice to know you,
See you again,
In the eyes,
Of another stranger.
My friend refers to strangers like this as ‘single serving friends’….like the folks you have an amazing time with in a bar on vacation.
We need a word for someone who is not a friend, but an acquaintance you know fairly well and yet don't feel all that friendly towards. They fit into the category of "would stop and catch up a bit if we saw each other on the street because I'm polite" but they do not fit into "would invite them over to dinner or voluntarily set a coffee date with them". Not a work colleague--perhaps someone you know through being on a committee together. You're trying to convey a stronger network connection than "acquaintance" without crossing into "friend", and "frenemy" doesn't apply.
Thanks to a discussion in another online community I connected with http://thepracticeblog.org/. Writer Nan Narboe shares mind/body practices from her many years of experience as a therapist. These feel like they fit right into this space--they're *all* about noticing something.
For the dictionary of missing words: This goes along with the one in this newsletter. It is the feeling of loss when you miss an opportunity to connect with a stranger, especially someone who is very differfent from you. This happened to me years ago and I still think about it from time to time. I was walking down the street and another persona was walking beside me. We were both heading in the same direction and were keeping pace with one another. You could feel the tension between us, a good tension. We wanted to speak to each other but neither of us broke the silence. We walked that way for a full two blocks and then some before she turned aside to go into a bulding. She was a different gender, a different age, and a different ethnicity and I still feel a sense that I missed something by not speaking to her. I have often wondered if she ever felt the same way.
With regards to revisiting the same place multiple times, something I always like to do is follow a common route but in reverse. There are often set routes I will drive down and get to see things change throughout the year as the seasons turn but taking that route in reverse gives an entirely new perspective on the places it passes through, it feels simultaneously familiar but different, odd even. I find it's a great way to look at things in a new way.
I attempted to throw away my paper plate from a slice of pizza today, and as I dropped it into the can, a gust of wind took it away and blew it to the other side of the can. I locked eyes with someone who was walking past and I could immediately tell that they were going to pick it up and throw it away for me. That feels like it fits into the category of the "missing word"
I have just received my first newsletter and it was so lovely. Thank you. I live in Aotearoa New Zealand and often find the newsletters I am giving a go (by subscribing to) are full of things that relate to the US. Your newsletter was different. The things you observed, said and felt were and are applicable to me, here, in my life. Once again thank you.
I began swimming/dipping year-round a few years ago and have a collection of the same view & same dock (occasionally covered in snow) throughout the seasons..I love having this reference. They are now planning a development which will go smack dab in the middle of the forested view so I’m curious as to how documenting will still feel throughout the process.
There should be a word for the way you gently unfocus your eyes when you drive into a four-way intersection so that you can be aware of your whole field of vision.