Poems in all of its various forms, mostly about love and heartbreak, has piqued my former interest from high school. Back then, I had a planner… full of spoken-word style and rap verses. There wasn’t much homework written down. A lot of writing about individuality and of course the topic of love with expressions of intentions along with the unrequited feelings.
As we studied Shakespeare in English class, we got into metaphors and the subtleties that could deliver a very specific, strong thought with the right vocal delivery. If said normally, it didn’t quite bring the implied… in many cases… sexuality with it.
Aside from the blush-inducing lessons of Shakespeare, I was picking up on something else during our poetry lessons. Most of the poems about love where the author was describing some moment of their beloved, had taken a certain small physical gesture and made it an image of something bigger. It wasn’t just that “they were crying”, it was that “there was a flash flood of unspoken pain with the words in the form of tears, escaping from the prison of affectionate injustice” or something like that.
Most everybody cries and we know this as a function of the body. We understand why it happens. As an expression representative of the significant moment that is unfolding, the crescendo of frustration, the lingering pain, and the unfettered release needs to be understood that it’s much more than just the tear ducts releasing fluid.
Her arms may have simply been crossing… but more accurately expressed and felt, they were the walls of defense being built up again, guarding her heart from any more piercing attacks of acidic words dissolving the perceived love as he spoke.
I have always liked reading faces and body language during conversations like reading eye contact and microexpressions. They are all very minute in actual elapsed time and motion but I knew they meant something so much more.
Like the poetry that I’ve been reading, it creates an image of just what is hidden behind those little gestures.
Maybe it’s an illusion but it makes me feel like I know something that I can use to either make the moment progress or where I can understand I am not wanted to go any further… and I will step back and/or let it be.
I always wanted others to feel comfortable in situations with me. If they weren’t initially, I would try to find ways to ease the tension. I thought myself clever like that. I don’t know if others did and sometimes it was apparent they didn’t care for my attempts.
It didn’t dissuade me from reading people. In fact, it probably made me more persistent in exercising the skill I thought I had.
Well, I started to notice everything. Everything became significant in my mind whether it really was or not. It brought a tone in my delivery out of me, and actually, most times the tone was pretty parallel to how the conversation was going. Supportive, concerned, humorous, sarcastic. Whatever it was, it helped keep a nice context around the conversation.
I have been having nice conversations this year. The past few months alone have had some unexpected gems.
I am addicted to eye contact. I am aware of my eyebrow expressions and how my mouth is expressing the mood continuously. To be aware of all that and how it relates to the conversation, I still have to be a great listener. I love listening to people express themselves about things they think about. I guess I just love conversation!
But more than just the conversation, I love receiving who they are in that moment. By “receiving”, I mean seeing them as a person. I like really understanding where they are coming from and what they’re feeling. I like feeling like I am not just their diary but a live feedback system that also reciprocates the feeling that they aren’t just a passing presence, rather their words have weight.
I want them to understand that they are here and they are something in whatever the situation is.
If they don’t want the situation, I want to understand that too.
As I stated earlier, just like poetry, these small things are rather big pieces of people being subtly revealed.
Because of that…
I hope people understand that, at least through my eyes, with their presence, their details are probably more noticeable than they think.