When I was a little girl, I loved to pretend I was invisible. I would walk around pretending that no one could see me or hear me. It was a way for me to imagine that I could someway be hidden from everyone, to be able to move and see in a way that would not cause a response or reaction from anyone – to be silent, to observe, to know the inside of things and situations. It was magical to be invisible.
I love to observe people – I guess it is the artist and the writer in me. Characters and plots and imaginary stories, even abstract ideas about humanity, spirituality, and life are formed in the artistic mind through the simple act of observation. I love life. I love people. I love to see them, hear them, take in their words, their actions, admire the beauty, understand the ugly, see the unconventional beauty that lies within every person, hear a conversation, see the loveliness of friends, the stress and freedom of love, the kindness of a mother, the wisdom of a father, the embrace of sisters and brothers. I just love people. People-watching can be a tricky thing though. I mean, it is kinda weird to be intrigued by someone, studying their character, and they look up and you are looking straight at them – awkward!
Because of the awkwardness, I sometimes wish I had that naïve ability to just pretend I’m invisible like I did when I was little. This longing to connect and yet also be invisible makes me think about how disconnected we really are in society. Our culture causes us to stay in our own boxes and not really live together in unity. Being united is a sweet thing. Unity can be as grand as a nation united or a group of people in an organization fighting for one cause, yet it can be a small intimate thing such as a few friends connecting heart and soul through a conversation or a random discussion with a grocery clerk that moves beyond duty and becomes a sharing moment. Unity is important. We, as a society, love movies, songs, and stories that allow us to see inside another’s life – a life that is not our own. We love to connect with the story, even the people within the story, as long as we can do so through media. We want to connect while remaining disconnected. We want to be invisible.
Why shouldn’t we whole-heartedly connect? Why shouldn’t we unashamedly observe? Wouldn’t it be nice to just be who we are in a moment – connect with who or what is in front of us? How enriching would it be to just take it all in – live life fully. Can we believe that nothing is by accident, and that everything happens for a reason? Providence should not be taken for granted or ignored. When we see or hear something captivating, we should not be embarrassed to enjoy it. When we meet someone or observe something that draws us in, which we feel connected to, we should not shy away because we feel the unspoken rule bearing upon us to stay in our own box and “mind our own business.” Can we not joyfully crash into that person, that situation, that point of connection with a confidence that says, “I enjoy you. I really like what is happening here. I think this is all beautiful. I feel connected to you, to what you are saying, to this situation that I have right now found myself in?” Carpe diem. Can we live in the moment – out loud, present with ourselves and fully with others? Can we live invisibly visible? If we can live unashamedly visible, then we will obtain again the magical beauty of life – the simplicity of love out loud. This is the love I want to live. This is the good life.
As Van Gogh said, “The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
Photo: Embrace 2 by Ted Szukalski