Thursday, December 6, 2012

The web...

There is one leaf gently bopping on my tree. I'd say undulating, but I've never liked that word. It's overcast and I'm sitting here thinking about people. We're a pretty amazing lot. We come in all sizes and shapes. Different levels of pigmentation. Different beliefs. But in the heart, where it really matters, most people are pretty similar.

We worry. We laugh. We like to watch small children do the things that we used to do. We appreciate when someone makes us laugh on a rough day. We love least the good kind. We are not as selfish as we seem, it just takes a good kick in the butt to remind us to be human sometimes.

One of the things I have always liked about apartments is that you can see your neighbors. When we lived in San Francisco, our apartment faced another complex across the street and we saw everything our neighbors did. And vice versa. Pretty much everything, I should say. We named them all. Sometimes we waved. Sometimes they hollered when I played guitar too loud. Mostly good hollers.

Sometimes I think about the web. That's how I see it in my mind. Each of our lives intersect with so many others. There is a liquor store across the street and I know the people that work there pretty well. They know I have a cat (we always forget to buy litter). They are nice to my girls. Then there are the people at Safeway, the deli, the bait shop...and, of course, there are neighbors.

You really realize this when you have a four year old. I spend a lot of time pretending to be people who would never imagine in a million years that a whole family is playing a game that involves them. "You be the guy from Target with the hat, Dadda!"

When bad things happen: death, illness, tragedy...our differences seem to vanish almost instantly. It no longer matters who thinks socialized medicine is a good idea or what sports team wins some silly game. Thrown into a cage together, many animals will fight to the death. Humans generally find their commonalities and cling to them. And we never know, except in brief moments of clarity, who is in our web.


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