A Peek Behind The Curtains

The hubris of life, of majestic leaps atop a mountain, of impractical love. That’s why I made the picture of the woman leaping with apparent joy. I hope she is happy and that the moment was magical for her.

Once you’ve peeked behind the curtains of someone’s life, both warts and happiness, seeing the frailty you share in common minimizes the feelings of your inadequacy. There’s something to be said about knowing that the person who seems impenetrable is as uncertain or more so than you are.

For every boring life or person walking the sidewalks with a wide smile, there is another person who wears the smile and frenetic cloak of being busy as a shield. It’s often unknowable whether each person is truly happy. People are adept at concealment.

If we could hear the tone of people’s thoughts, especially those who seem to have it all together, I think most of our feelings of inadequacy would disappear.

We window shop when we are in the world or when we use these electronic portals to peek into other’s lives.

There is joy, laughter, and fulfillment.

There’s also pain, remorse, regret, and loss.

For every bite of anguish I experience, I know that the toll for others, though often invisible, burns them privately. I regret that our lives don’t allow us to drop the pretense.

We don’t know what rivers flow behind someone else’s eyes, nor do we really understand what ignites them. Some people craft an ornate and expansive wall around them, on to which they project the facade they want us to see. This is truer when the disparity of their daylight life grows distant from who they are at their center, in the shadows, in private, or in whispers.

It’s exciting to peek behind the facade and share that protected self. It’s sublime and affirming.

But the shriek and tenor that results when some do not want to acknowledge that you’ve seen their secret self? Though you’ve not wronged them, they flail and pivot with the agony of your having shared their inner monologue.

It often gets masked as anger.

It’s not.

Anger is the symptom. It’s really sublimated fear.

It doesn’t have to be.

It’s okay.

Some of us can be glad we experienced another facet of life, even if the ending was a surprise plot twist.

It is a gift to hold the truth of someone else in your own heart. Even if it lodges there like a dart.

Of that, I’m certain, even as certainty eclipses my grasp.

The foolishness of my own certainty came back to punch me in the gut. In time, I will forget the lesson, just as I did with the lesson of life’s urgency; it’s a lesson that can’t be explained. It must be experienced.

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