The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE TWENTY TWO: LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I was a kid, I loved war movies. And I loved dressing in camo pants and going to the woods and playing war. Plastic M-16, military beret, black t-shirt.
I would play with my friends or go out by myself. And if it was raining too hard or really cold, I’d stay inside and play with my G.I. Joe’s.
But my very favorite thing to do was borrow my dad’s binoculars, climb one of our trees in our yard and spy on people. I’d pretend I was sent behind enemy lines and I had to spy in the enemy and report back to HQ. I’d talk into my walkie-talkie and let the rest of the outfit and the enemies movements. The enemy in question was my neighbors, people walking or riding their bikes down the street or people driving in cars. Then there was the pretend enemy I saw in my head. They’d have tanks and Jeeps and all kinds of weapons.
Yes, I had a vivid imagination. Guess I still do.
What made it all so real was those binoculars. The weight of them in my hands, the feeling of zoning in an object through the lens. Even the smell of them. It’s how they put me closer to something or someone without doing so.
And that taught me to look.
Look. See. Observe.
To learn this skill is important. Not only hanging in a tree but in everyday life.
You know that saying about seeing the forest for the trees? I didn’t really learn that until I got older. For seeing things on how they really are. It comes with time and experiences, good and bad.
I have made the mistake before of not looking around and really seeing what was going on. I think we are all guilty of that from time to time. Some people never look when they should. I experience a lot of those people in stores and driving next to me on the road. They don’t share the road or the aisle. They never look to see where other people are or care. I guess they didn’t have binoculars as a kid and learn something from them.
I think some of us are so focused on where they are going and not where they are. It’s very easy to fall into that trap. I mean, of course, there are times you need to plan on what you’re going to do. It’s like when people use their phones and drive. Some people can do both at the same time….but not most. Oh, certainly not most. Those people drive too slow in the fast lane and weave because they have not trained themselves to rub their tummy and pat their head at the same time. In other words, they can’t multi-task.
What they should do is pull over and make their call if it’s that important.
But no, they must look like idiots and impede other people.
They look like idiots by not looking.
There are some people who put blinders on so they can’t see what’s next to them, only ahead, like mules pulling a wagon. People who walk by injustice or somebody in need. Just clip-cloping on, blinders pulled close.
No. As a society, most don’t look. Their eyes are aimed at something but not seeing.
I admit, I don’t see everything I should. But I really try. It comes back to something I’ve said before, I have to plan all of the time. I have to be prepared. Looking and seeing and observing as a lot to do with that. It can be frustrating at times, to always want to plan. One way I do it is when I go somewhere, anywhere, and I want to know where all of the exits are. Or I’m looking for a threat. You’d think I’d served time or I was in the military in combat.
Looking comes in handy, though. Going for a walk in the woods and seeing the flowers and animals. Seeing the clouds in the sky. Seeing the person you love. Seeing your child grow-up and the characteristics they develop, either from your influence or somebody else or their own. Those are times when looking is priceless.
About twenty five years ago, my dad gave me those binoculars and I still have them. I get them out from time to time just to look at things. Sometimes I just hold them in my hand to remember things I have seen through them.
Sometimes I just smell them.
And they remind me to look.
July 31st, 2016
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.