Thursday, November 24, 2005

Metro Blues

A friend of mine once claimed that I was working with the wrong company considering that my slogan should be “connecting people”. Truth is, I thrive off the desire to comprehend people, that drive me to make that connection and lately I’ve found myself once again drawn to strangers.

It’s on my daily Metro trips that I’ve been getting my latest kicks!

Living on the fast lane implies that no time should be wasted. In the twenty minutes that takes me to get to work, I can either read 8 to 9 pages of a book or plan my day going through shopping and to do lists or all those phone calls that I still need to make. At times I’m tempted to drift off into a daydream or allow myself to think about the unresolved issues that have been stored in my mind… on some days, twenty minutes is all I need to write the best columns in my head…

I used to think that the reason that I preferred the bus to the metro as public transport was due to the scenery I’d enjoy on my way to work. Recently I discovered that it had very little with what was going on in the outside world and more what was happening inside. Vulnerable and feeling a little lost, I’d given up my travel time on observing others to tend to my own wounds… now that I’m back on my feet, suddenly I feel that the answers are once again “out there” rather than “in here” and I found myself returning to my favourite pastime: observing others.

I find that most people are too engrossed in their own thoughts to realise that you’re watching them. Never mind… I try to connect with whatever they might be thinking and even though I can never truly know or guess what goes through their minds, it doesn’t hurt to ask an angel for a blessing or two in aid of a stranger. Often I notice young girls who hide behind their coats, their glasses and avoid any if all eye contact – to those I pray for a little self-confidence. Humility is what I desire to do those whose nose is above eye-level and courage to those who’s eyes look as if they’re about to spill a stream down their faces. It can’t hurt to wish a stranger well.

It’s easy to make a connection; all you have to do is to hold eye contact. It isn’t hard or provocative; you simply choose not to look away when your eyes connect. I met my future hairdresser this way; a Brazilian woman who was on her way to a job interview when we met in the Metro. I wished her luck, she told me that she’d let me know how the interview went and suddenly two strangers weren’t so alone in a big city.

Warning: If you look too long at a cute guy on the Metro, chances are that he’ll ask you for your number as you leave!

Of course not every connection you make is the kind you were hoping. I discovered that not all old men are “sweet” old men so don’t be surprised if a friendly smile results in a wink and a pinch of your bottom! – Take it from me, smile at a distance!

Even though my destinations are the same each day, I discovered the voyage in the journey. No two trips are the same and I hardly run into the same face twice. These strangers give me courage to be more of myself, the desire to connect to more people and the awakening of my adventurous spirit.Next time you cross-eyes with someone… Smile… you never know how far it reaches.


Luisa Singer said...

You and your eye contact.... hehe!!! I caught you more than once when we used to get out. I guess us inlighted people have a strong way of looking at people... a lot them tell me that. "oh! you have a way of looking at people that kills!" I guess that´s what I saw in you. I beleave you can really go in their inside.
I still remember my first eye contact with you, more than one year ago... as we were talking I was feeling more and more hipnotised by those invulgarly deep blue eyes, wich in your case, are definaly the mirror of your soul. People where you are now are howerver much colder than on this side due to the stressing life they have to live there, and also I think they´re probably affraid of strangers with so much crime happening... well... I guess I would be too. Be carefull on the big land, and come back quickly to the quietness so we can make a big big party!!!! Lot´s of hugs.

Anonymous said...

Observar os outros torna-se fascinante e também viciante. É preciso ter cuidado para não cair na tentação de viver as vidas alheias e deixar de lado as nossas.

Somos quem somos, mas também podemos ser parte de quem nos rodeia. Ao abrir o coração aos outros temos um mundo de mundos diante de nós. Deixamos de passar o tempo a desenvolver esforços para atingir os nossos objectivos, a festejar sozinhos a sua realização e a lamber as feridas quando não resultam.

Mas é preciso gostar de pessoas. É necessário ter a capacidade de sentir compaixão por quem sofre, respeito por quem sente dor, admiração por quem luta. Orientação para os outros. Só com dedicação e tempo investido podem esses mundos revelar-se.