Saturday, March 12, 2011


Comics can create cavelike chaos in the shadows that they cast. On the way into my office, one newspaper comic, among the many taped on my office door, caught my eye. The humor was as apparent as the meaning.

Man says: "...You can only feel alive and whole when other's are listening to you. What do you think?"

His friend: "About what?"

I have a friend who once told me that when he dies, he wants others to look back on his life and say, "Oh, I get it..but not all of it." This friend is an artist and he does some pretty wild things with his interactive art (including placing live piranhas in a kid's swimming pool so students can fish for them by wrapping meat around toy soldiers tied to the end of fishing line). He has much more abstract moments than the piranhas, but even then he seems to have some sense of wanting to be thought about, considered, and maybe not fully understood, but at least someone is making an effort. I like him for his creativity and consistent friendship. Hopefully, I'll make an effort to listen to the lyrics of the song that his artwork plays.

In my own life, it's fascinating to recognize truth. Sitting in the shadow of my own self, not for the sake of being acceptable, is more common than not because of the difficulty in sustaining the energy required to give more than a barley listening conversation. It hurts to participate in this act as much as it does to receive it. This past year, I got hit square in the jaw by what felt like a 300lb non-communicative fish taco. I put myself in the line of fire, but seriously, it was more than just a minor misunderstanding. Both of us produced the end result: a real absence of listening. I've been rethinking my actions ever since and recognized a little truth; the shadows can become home even when it's the last place that you want to live.

It's time to stop counting 13 ways to keep dawn's dim daylight at a distance. Turn around and watch the sunrise with me. We'll let the light showcase our full faces...and just maybe, we can learn to love what we see. If that's too vague, try this on: LET'S TALK. ALL OF US.

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