Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Encounter

The following is a creative piece inspired by the opening lines of Walt Whitman's great work Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, and influenced by the observations of Eliot in his Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The words have caused me to dwell on the nature of human interaction, the daily, even constant motion between individuals and the harmony of existence. I hope to continue to develop the idea, eventually breaking it from the prose format into something more poetic and expressive in nature.

FLOOD-TIDE below me! I watch you face to face;
Clouds of the west! sun there half an hour high! I see you also face to face.

Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes! how curious you are to me!
On the ferry-boats, the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose;


And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.

-Walt Whitman

Everyday I pass hundreds of faces. I see them and they see me, but what do they mean to me, and I to them? Every face has a story, and each story somehow intertwines into our story, my story. We are the sum of you and I, and the human race is the sum of all. We compile ourselves together and in so doing, we all affect one another. Each step I take will ultimately determine what steps you take, and in some inexplicable way, your steps will determine mine. All this happens in a seemingly invisible way. The changes in course can be so minute that we don’t even sense it happening at all. But what would it be like to see our steps? What if I could see how my steps mix and blend with yours to combine into a three-step waltz or a stumbling, awkward tango? Then we would have a fantastic array, an articulate display of the clockwork between human souls. Then we would truly see face to face.


Looking into the mirror, I see myself face to face; sometimes it feels as though I am yet a stranger, that i must look beyond the glass, slightly fogged as it is to glean some sense of identity. I look into the depths of blue, past the pale inklings of orange that add the depth and meaning of a sunrise to my stare. Through the black pits at the center I look, I search for what is to be, what this day can become. Some days it is hope that I find. Others bring something even more, a knowledge of sorts, and yet others disappoint, bringing only longing for the next. Out the door these same eyes glance, stare entranced, and with colorful perception always enhance what it is that surrounds me. They find you and meet you, incessant in their searching for some sort of contact, or intimacy. This is our intersection, footsteps winding in and out of sync and step: the crisis of moment, the crux of opportunity. Twisting and turning our steps criss-cross over cold, lifeless cement. Spinning and swirling they rise, graceful, gently touching, caressing for a moment then in half that, retreating behind the bat and blink of an eye.

A smile, a grin and nothing more. You have your direction and I mine. What those ways are we have yet to learn. Tomorrow again I will stare at my mirrored mirage and wonder. These eyes will remember the encounter, the thrill of flight, the excess of pounding deep within. Forever altered by perception, your dispersion and reception of light and color, these eyes will again seek, and again find that looming crisis of question, overwhelming, high over our heads as we walk throughout our days.

2 comments:

Preston Redd said...

I will never stare into your eyes the same way again. All those late nights, gazing into your eyes seem wasted, as I did not realize the full impact of those beautiful orange spotted blue seas. You're inspiring to say the least.

For those of you who visiting Greg's blog from a different country, we're not gay, I was just joking...

J.M. said...

haha, nice try trying to cover it up preston. but those of you reading greg's blog who know preston, this statement just supports our long held suspicions.

It really does boil down to one question, huh Greg...who am I?