This week while waiting at an airport gate in Washington DC, I suddenly saw something leap in front of me and I screamed. Screamed like a child. No, I screamed as loud as a 51 year old adult can scream. There was I, sitting, early morning, eating my breakfast, I did not expect this.
A small bird had jumped out from the chair opposite to practically land at my feet, to beg for the cookie I was consuming. I screamed, the bird screamed, then shrugged its shoulders in disappointment (or sarcasm) and flew off.
Embarrassment arrived as I lifted my head expecting to be surrounded by armed security while everyone else would be laying on the floor. I would be arrested, green card taken and wearing orange before my flight had pulled in.
I looked around. The young girl opposite me said bless you, thinking I had sneezed, while the other said "Yeah fuck, I thought that was a rat."
Everything had stopped for me and yet only two people and a tiny bird noticed.
Isn't it funny from our own prospective of how we view situations? How most things are so important, noisy and busy while no one else is paying attention. How loud we think we are or how quiet we think we are.
At another gate the day before two men were talking. Actually, let me say one was talking while the other had to listen. He was demonstrating his male dominance about a work story that featured pornography suddenly appearing on a computer screen. It was sexist, loud and boring and the two ears that had to listen (others at the terminal had no choice) nodded patiently. At the end of the story the man declared "I'm going to write a book." I could literally feel the sigh of everyone say "dear God don't bother."
On the other side of this coin, I recently worked with an incredible woman and could see how those around her were so busy attempting to keep up with her energy, they could not actually assist her. In her need to achieve her mission, she had forgotten to give basic instructions and there was a frenzied flurry where she had to complete most of the tasks herself.
In order to do something, you cannot do everything, I wanted to whisper to her. But who am I?
The sad days arrive when we think we are being noticed, or belong, or cared for and we are simply are not. When we believe we ourselves are noticing, caring for and making those around us feel they belong, while we are not.
I am bewildered at how we run and race and do so alone, while others huff and puff believing that the world is paying attention. Houses are to be built, not blown away. We are worth so much more than that.
As I boarded that flight, I was thinking, about the word 'together'. I feel it means to gather strength, love, and to gather happiness. I fancy some of that.
I should have shared that cookie, I thought. We all should.