I love when I see a couple that you know is in love and you can tell that they don’t even know it. You can see it in the way she looks at him out of the corner of her eye and you know she is smitten with him. There is something about him that is special to her and you can see that not even he knows it yet.
I love when I see a man reach out to the woman by his side and brush the pieces of whispy hair out of her face back into the original style as the wind continues to breeze by. Neither them or the wind too aware of the depth of such romanticism. I find it beautiful witnessing a man primp his woman in public for all to see. There he sits on the bench patiently awaiting the train to arrive on the platform while you stand towering over him. Even while sitting his ability to take care of you transcends the nonverbal more dominant stance of your position. He is not intimidated. He loves you, adores you enough to sit in a submissive position because he trusts you and while he is sitting there with your thighs eye level he sees the imperfections of the material adorning your hips, your thighs, and he gently reaches out cuffing your shorts back into place perfectly for the woman he sees as perfection for him.
The art of nonverbal communication is so great yet we miss the signs everyday. It has been lost over time broken down by the advancements of society. We have mistaken moments that were really acts of kindness showing the gentle nature that I believe humans naturally operate in because we don’t communicate the way we were designed to. That moment he interrupted you while you are in the middle of an exciting sentence showing him the pair of very African very unique Aladdin like shoes that you were known for wearing at school wasn’t him trying to interrupt you. He watched you step aimlessly into a puddle of pee on the sidewalk as you were excitingly pointing into the window display. It’s a good thing that you learned enough to know not to react so your eyes and brain could follow what you witnessed, someone showing you kindness, gentleness, and affection. That situation could have been a disaster waiting to happen. A moment too pivotal, too early in the stages of getting to know one another to taint the possibilities. A moment that could lead to misperceptions and a molding of false foundations laid, just because we failed to see the non verbal gestures. We do this to each other every day, we do this to ourselves. We prevent opportunities to build something beautiful with one another because we do not know how to see.
I love watching people. I love watching the way we interact with each other and I am often offended, often saddened when I see a couple mistreat each other because they miss the in between the in between. In between that moment where you catch each other looking at each other at the same time was a space in between and in between that space existed so much that you failed to see. Why? Your too busy, your not attentive, and so you miss some of the most beautiful moments. You, we jump to conclusions, create assumptions that are based on misperceptions because we failed to see the in between the in between.
I was the girl who was standing like a school girl in front of the window pointing to my ever so sexy, very handsome, very kind gentleman that I am dating to look in the window at the Aladdin African genie shows I used to wear in high school. I was the girl who absentmindedly stepped into a puddle of urine probably left out to dry by the homeless of NY while my night and shinning African King dashed into the middle of my sentence to save me from the terror of germs lurking around my feet. Yes he interrupted me, so that he could save me from a disastrous fate. Now if I hadn’t learned how to see the in between the in between I would have missed that moment. In that moment I would have felt upset as I was inclined to when he interrupted me in the middle of my sentence had I not learned to process the totality of situations. Had I not been able to comprehend that the only reason for him interrupting me was to help me versus to be rude I would have started a problem where one did not even exist. Moments such as this puddle of urine would have been a pivotal moment where most couples would have started arguing creating unnecessary discord to the harmonious nature of affection, kindness, and love.
Why does this happen to people?
When too much happens too fast and we aren’t paying attention we miss moments that provide understanding allotting us with the ability to extend gentleness to each other. I have learned to slow things down and let them replay quicker than I can react that way I extend a response that resembles the in between my in between. I thank the Universe for affording me opportunities such as being a orphan and going through a divorce that taught me how to understand human behaviors. These struggles in my life led to me being able to communicate in a positive manner with the people I care about. This affords me with abilities to nurture relationships with people that I want to learn more about in hopes that I can build a healthy lasting friendship, a partnership, a relationship. Something that I can hold onto unlike quicksand.
As I stood outside of the puddle with the moist urine under the soles of my feet I replayed the scene in my head. My in between was the moment I was stepping in the piss. That was the moment that I came back to reality. His in between was when he was watching me step into the piss and interrupted me to try to save me from stepping into the germy, lurky, yucky water awaiting the fate of an innocent pedestrian.
You see how easy it is to fall into the trap of miscommunication. We no longer see the in between the in between? There was a time where I felt people could see the in between the in between. I believe the days of building the magnificent Pyramids and Michelangelo laying on a scaffold under the Sistine Chapel were days when our people could see the in between the in between more effectively. I believe before society created so many instant distractions that we were forced to see the light shining through the green leafs of the centerpiece as we sip our afternoon tea chatting up with our closest companions. Somehow we got to the place where we miss these beautiful moments where it seems time stops just so that we can enjoy the beauty of creation, the beauty of each other, the beauty of the in between the in between that prevents trivial miscommunications. We need to get back to this place of understanding. We need to get back to a place where we can slow time down long enough to truly see each other. In order to appreciate each other, to understand each other, to care for one another we must be able to see them. To see them, to see these moments means to understand something that can not necessarily be taught for it is instinctive of our primal beings to touch, to feel, to hold.
Let us not move too hastily in our interactions with one another. These moments when he looks at you lovingly can not escape the eye because ones lips were busy spewing the distasteful occurrences of your day. Let us not take so much time processing irrelevant information that we miss the beauty of each other, the beauty of the in between. Those are the looks of life that I don’t want to miss. In those moments you find the truth unraveled by your surroundings, untainted by your perceptions, you find the beauty of who you are and the beauty of whom you surround or what surrounds you.
I once shot an image. It is one of the best images that I have ever shot. 35 mm film, silver gelatin printed onto a matte finish 8 1/2 x 11 Glossy Photo Paper on a rainy day. The rain was coming down onto the stairway of my first rinky dinky $375 a month apartment in bum freak Texas. I know, cheap rent, but on the GOOD side of town. I miss that apartment, well, I miss the price, I don’t miss much about Texas. Anywho It was an old apartment complex. The the stair cases had black railing (CeCe winans…he will erase, I spoke out to god, I called out your name). with cement inlaid into each step. With each droplet my eye viewed the rain in slow motion. It wasn’t just the splash that caught my eye, it was the drop before the splash. As I stood in my studio apartment window I dashed for my camera and snapped an image. The beauty of each droplet pulled me from my window lulling me to my door, and across the drenched grass eye level to the staircase. I propped my lens up, pinned the viewfinder to my eye and I captured the in between the in between. These moments after yet just before the next are what I know to be the beauty of the in between the in between. Not just anyone gets to witness these moments anymore and I realize the rarity of sharing these nanoseconds of a moment with another being. That is the challenge. Many of us may catch the in between the in between, but can we catch it long enough to share with someone other than ourselves or is coexisting harmoniously that foreign for us?
I want to catch these moments. I want to bury these moments in the most ornate treasure box that I can find. I want to be able to retrieve these moments in times of light and in times of dark, just to say, “I felt that beauty, I saw that beauty, I held that beauty, I existed in the space of that beauty.” I don’t want these moments to escape into the beauty of another ones eye because we were too lost to hold the in between the in between.
May you see.
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