Monday, April 06, 2009

Meet Your Eyes



One of the hardest things in the world is to not judge other people -- at times the task seems Sisyphean. We see through the scrim of our own jealousies and disappointments, through a kind of plaintive longing that doesn't shut up. And in this area, I have sinned and been sinned against, the only progress made from my end is to try like hell to have compassion when I don't feel like it. I, unfortunately, can't control what people think of me. But usually I have great luck -- a fortune teller once told me that I had a lavender light coming out of my third eye and if I found myself surrounded by loving strangers or the mentally-challenged, that's why. My friends have pointed this tendency out and there's one restaurant host who is as we might say in the south, a bit touched, and he stares at my forehead where people believe the third eye is for a long time before seating me, a refreshing respite, I suppose, from the proverbial complaint about men never meeting your eyes.

But I can cast back to meeting a woman a few years ago who seemed to hate me upon sight. Before I really opened my mouth and could confirm any preconceptions she might have. I never understood why and my term for her was that fucking horrible anorexic uptight bitch who hates me for no known reason. This was, umm, pre-compassion. But I recently learned her story, one that explains her feelings about other woman and me in particular better than she probably could. And I felt sorrow for her, for the abuse she experienced and the sadness of it. I suppose that's kind of the way of things; more, as the AA people say, will be revealed. I'm not a big believer in time healing wounds, but I do believe that we are given to see what we need to see to accept people even when we don't want to, especially then.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." Thomas Merton

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: The Sisters Antipodes Jane Allison

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

9 comments:

Scott said...

Michelle,

Lavender third eye? Mine's probably red if I have one, or black, LOL. Nice essay...it is hard not to judge others, and it's frustrating to be unfairly judged (I've been on the recieving end of that due to my appearance at times).
Nice dancing with dinos pic, too...that lucky lizard! :)

the walking man said...

Life...is a highway and the signs seen upon it just come when they are needed to get us to our current destination.

It snowed yesterday...I have no compassion for snow..it sucks, it is shit, and I want it flushed away for three more seasons.

Whitenoise said...

We bring baggage to our interactions, associations with other people and certain types. As we try to bring order to our own personal surroundings, we often mis-catalogue people, making assumptions because they fit our cookie-cutter filing system. Later, we are surprised when some honest research shows that our system was wrong.

Dave said...

"if I found myself surrounded by...the mentally-challenged, that's why"

I new I liked you for some reason!

Cheri said...

My aunt randomly re-met her father on the street last week. While he was sitting in her car a special person came up to her window and waved. She opened it to say hello and he reached in to give her a hug and wouldn't let go, one hand gripping her throat. It took 3 men to get him off her.

I don't think her third eye is lavender...

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm so bad about judging others that I often feel as if I'm surrounded by the mentally challenged. I feel bad about that. I'm working on becoming better. But it ain't easy.

Lana Gramlich said...

My third eye shoots daggers. ;) *L* I think you're right on the bit about time not actually healing wounds...unless you count unsighly scars as "healed."

jodi said...

Meeshell, I think a certain amount of judging others is just in us as humans for a survival tactic. Besides, if it hurts no one, and we know we are schmucks for doing it--it's okay. Being open and kinda in my own head seems to lead mentally challenged people to me. I think they identify and that's cool. Now sing: Everybody walk the dinosaur! xoxo

YogaforCynics said...

Definitely Sisyphean...though I tend to find not judging myself even harder...