Sunday, February 22, 2015
Within and Without
My residence has an outdoor lounge on its 7th floor, overlooking Adelaide's lofty cityscape. The view is superb day or night, but it is especially intriguing at night. The skyline is not lit up as well as many American cities (Minneapolis vs. Adelaide), but the interesting part is looking down at the streets, the people, the nightlife.
Life is presented in first-person, therefore it is difficult to imagine what we look like to other people. When I look down at Hindley Street at night, I like to pick out a person from the crowd and imagine what they see. It's similar to this thing I've done for years, and it all started because I got bored of observing the same interest point as everyone else. I've found that it's more captivating to pay attention to the immediate, instantaneous reactions from an event than the event itself. For example, when I'm in a room with a group of people, and someone enters the room; the door opens, a noise ensues, and everyone looks to see who just entered. Instead of looking at the door to find out who or what is entering, I try to look into the eyes of someone else already in the room. Based on their reaction, what can I conclude about the situation? Are they visibly affected by the person entering the room? Do they start to smile, recognizing the person who walked in? For a moment, I imagine life through their eyes. It's not an easy task to get to know someone through direct communication alone. Often, I've noticed it's their reactions to other things, usually uncontrollable, that give away the most striking aspects of their personality. The next time you're at a firework show, drop your attention from the fireworks for a moment to focus on someone else's gaze. Are they visibly entranced by the fireworks, or do they immediately notice you looking at them? Or perhaps they're already looking at you, either in love or wondering what your own eyes tell them about your world...