a reply to: slider1982
It's not that my Kung Fu is better.
It is simply that I respect people's space. I only enter a persons psychological space if they appear to wish to have that space occupied. If they do
not appear so, or I am too wasted or tired to know the difference, I am not at all likely to try.
Case in point. Saturday night was a great night. I was invited to a barbecue thing and a mass consumption of homebrew ales at a friends place. His
stuff is top notch, but he's a former chef so he knows his nose and tongue magic. Anyway, I was asked to create fire, so that merry makers could be
enlivened by its dance and warmed by its heat. Having done so, I stood back from the fire, and went to get more wood. When I returned to the fireside,
a friend of mine, who is a single lady, had taken up a position almost IN the fire, and was tending it, poking errant embers back into the main body
of the firebase. Flames were literally licking at her legs, and she paid it no heed, and took no damage. Lost some hair I would have thought, but
nothing else besides.
Standing there with her poking stick, lit by fire, this woman I have known for some time, and thought of simply as a very good friend, suddenly
revealed herself to be quite attractive in my sight. Now, if I was a beef headed moron, I would be thinking to myself at that point that given JUST
THIS NIGHT, and given JUST THESE EXACT CIRCUMSTANCES, I should go over there and tell her that she looks hot in a non thermodynamic sense, just to
make sure she understands that I do not think she is standing too close to the flames.
However, because I know her life, I know that actually, what she needed in that moment, was to be left to do something elemental and natural, and
just enjoy that wonderful time, doing that simple thing that bought such a smile and peace to her face.
Now, that was easy, because I know her. I know her recent history, I know that the last thing she needed the other night, was to be told that her
fire tending antics had lit her up like a bomb factory on a drones targeting display.
But all it takes to be able to work this stuff out in the real world, is to imagine others more complexly. We often like to imagine others as having
less complicated lives than we have, because if we consider the enormity of the horror of human existence beyond our own lives for too long, many of
us crumble under the weight of it, which is understandable. However, the problems experienced by human beings are often a direct result of a refusal
to engage with complexity, insist on simplicity, even though that insistence results in more complexity not more simplicity.
Put simply, imagine that a person has had a day as hard, or harder than yours. Now imagine that the days of their lives may all have been
envenerating, debilitating. Now ask yourself, does this person, with a complicated and difficult life, want to spend their down time in conversation
with a stranger, or are they seeking the solace of the friends they either are in conversation with, or waiting for? Do they value their free time,
such that to interrupt, to break in upon it with your needs, with your desire for companionship, would be seen as an affront, an assumptive and
If they do, it might be a better idea to make no move, just at this moment. If however they do not appear weighted down, then a casual smile when
your eyes meet, or a non-pick up line when at the bar at the same moment, might actually be welcome. You never know your luck. But in all things be
mindful of feelings, your own, but most especially the feelings of those whose time you would seek to occupy. Be mindful, patient, and generous of
spirit. If you do these things, then you can find ways to present yourself to people, without being obtrusive and obstructive to the business they are
about. This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to take offence at your comportment.