Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I'm standing on a stage of fear and self doubt

Is it strange that I stand in front of the mirror, criticizing every imperfection, analysing every inch? Sometimes I think that if I study myself enough, maybe I'll become more comfortable with what I see; but it seems to do the exact opposite. I need to escape this. I really do understand though, especially lately, the importance of stepping outside of myself, of really looking at the world with wide eyes. I cried in my car yesterday, listening to Joni Mitchell. Looking out the window as I drove through the Lower East side of Vancouver, I could see a man who appeared to be having the most fulfilling conversation. His eyes were wide and entranced, his hands soaring and dipping as he spoke. Laughter was pouring out of his mouth, from deep, deep down. His whole body shook. He was alone; conversing with his alter ego perhaps. We are often so much in our own worlds, sometimes it frightens me. How are we supposed to achieve peace, how are we supposed to accept the faults in others, how are we supposed to do anything if we can't even take a second to step outside of ourselves? We are all caught in our own skin and sometimes it feels like there is no escape. Blocks down the road, I saw another man. He was frightening in terms of his physical appearance, hair shrouding his face. I could not see what he looked like beneath it, young or old. Eyes sunken in I imagined, dark circles and sallow skin. His body was contorted, like some sort of dark café dancer, moving involuntarily, hands curled in towards himself. His hair swung, his arms flew and his legs gave out.
Without vicariously experiencing the thoughts and feelings of others, and sharing those thoughts and feelings through communication, we're doomed to failure. We need to understand empathy; and we know that empathy can't be shallow. This means constantly getting outside of ourselves. It means having unending sensitivity for people's views and feelings. It means putting a higher value on human differences.
I want to get out. I want to get out of this skin for a moment.

1 comment:

JaG said...

I know the feeling.