Tag Archives: Christmas

Stopping Traffic or Wandering Minds?

“Oops, sorry,” I mumble, apologizing to the woman that I’m pretty sure was out of ear shot by the time I realized I’d bumped into her. People everywhere, walking in groups, in pairs, alone. Heads busily scanning the environment searching for something, anything. Like me. Except I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. But I was supposed to get six of them. Or was it seven? Maybe in there? No, too expensive. Over there? Nope, would never fly. Wait, what’s that? I push through the crowd. Oh, no. That’s not at all I expected.

Like when I was driving down the freeway, jamming along. Radio up high. Light traffic. I’m in the number two lane. Doing about seventy. Saturday afternoon. Warm. Clear. All day to play. Good mood. I see a truck in my peripheral vision coming up slowly on my left. Dog in the back. Probably feeling the same as me about now. Able to just let go, and relax. Everything is in it’s place. Except that’s not a dog in the back of that truck.

Does that ever happen to you? You see something, you’re pretty sure you know that, and you don’t even bother to double check, you just kind of assume it’s there, the way you think it is. But it never really is, is it?Those things that you were pretty sure that you had a handle on, once you allow yourself to see from a different perspective, you begin to imagine different things. And it’s not like when you are reading something, and just following along as your mind is wandering. It’s when you see something, but you don’t really notice it. I imagine that if you recall, now, the times that has happened to you, you might begin to understand what I’m talking about.

Like when I was watching this psychologist give a lecture about the reason that thoughts which come in dreams are different from the normal order. Something with the way the lattice structure of the brain is connected. Certain thoughts are resting on top of other thoughts, and the way the brain organizes it self, sometimes things that are right next to each other, they don’t even communicate well. Like when you pull up to your house, and see your neighbor, and you think to yourself, do I really even know that guy?

So I’m dead even with the truck, and I’m about ready to look over at the previosly assumed canine in the back, complete with it’s assumed tongue wagging out of it’s mouth, and even an imagined name on his hallucinated dog collar. It is a bit of an understatement to say I was shocked when I looked to see that it was a pig. Without a collar. I didn’t think to ask what it’s name was. And it didn’t seem to be at all concerned with mine.

And my eyes must have really been getting tired, because that day in the mall what I thought were some kind of new age toys, were really decorations laying around the christmas trees waiting their turn to get put up. I guess my blood sugar was lower that I had planned for it to be. But I did turn into a Sharper Image, and some shop based on the Discovery Channel, and was able to take care of everything there. And when I left, it seemed that all those people were still wandering around looking for what I assumed they would find eventually.

When this happens to you, how long does it take to realize that something really strange is going on?


Magic in a Bag

So there I was, sitting there in the coffee shop, in a nice corner spot. The kind where you can periodically stop what you are doing so you can look up and really pay attention, watch all the people walking around, shopping, eating, enjoying their Sunday off.  I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, and for reasons I’m probably not aware of, that particular movement seemed to stand out of all the flurry of movements, so I naturally turned my head so I could take notice. There was a young female employee of the shop standing facing a middle aged guy that was sitting down.  She seemed to have a look of professionalism on her face, and he a look of boredom. Perhaps his wife had dragged him shopping with her, perhaps he was a little light on sleep. We’ll never know. But as she leaned over to get closer to him, as there were plenty of people around chattering about, I saw an interesting phenomenon take place.  I noticed her eyes, and as she was talking to him in what appeared to be a polite professional tone (judging only by her facial expressions and her body langauge), they shifted back and forth between his face, and the bag that she was holding out for him to take. And as she did so, his face turned from passive disinterest, to mild curiosity, to a look of honest appreciation.  Now I’m not sure what was in the bag, perhaps some exotic coffee beans, or maybe a personalized mug, who knows.

Kind of like the shops around my town, they organize some special new years specials, where all the shops that participate put together bags of secret goodies for ten or twenty dollars. The fun part is that you don’t know what’s going to be in the bag. Of course it will be related to the kind of store of course, but you never know what will be in the bag until you open it up. And they all look the same, so you really can’t tell from the outside.

Like when I was a kid, we used to have lots of presents under the tree at christmas time, but you never know if you were going to get something cool  until you decided to choose a gift  to open.  And of course, most of the time we could expect to be really happy  with the present we got.

Which was what was wierd at the coffee shop, because the guy didn’t really know what was in the bag, only that the girl had decided for him that it was something of value.  Now I don’t if you are able to understand this, but this guy, who could be a doctor or a lawyer for all I know,  was able to transform his own emotions from boredom to appreciation over a mysterious brown bag, simply by choosing to pay attention to the words of a most likely minimum wage earning young lady.

Can you see the magic in this? Simply by assuming that there was value in the bag, she was able to, using only her words and expressions, move the middle aged man from boredom to curiosity to appreciation.

How soon will you be able to find something of value , and with only words, move somebody else to appreciation?