Sunday, October 6, 2013

Reciprocity Revealed?



My Excitability is quite temporary. As the decades go by there has grown too much a sense of wherever I am, there I am. Geographical dislocation, material acquisitions, epicurean differences, or even a rare find for my personal library raises a delighted sense of momentary distinction from the norm, but that generally quiet sense of being at peace with whatever, wherever, pervades. It is appreciation that predominates; and the depths of my appreciation accretes with age. Contentment. Peace. Acceptance. In my seventh decade, I am hardly excitable any more. Positively, or negatively. Well, at times.

Excitement and Appreciation differ. That indelicate anticipation of early childhood before the first flight on an aeroplane can still be conjured. But fleetingly. Back then it was a feeling so overwhelming I recall not being able to sleep beforehand. Now, as I sit here and type at 24926 ft and descend at 454mph I am aware of my profound appreciation, but hardly feel distinct excitement. Been there, done that. Fewer of things are personal.

Taking life apparently for granted appears in growing older. Presents still momentarily excite. Going on holiday still raises anticipation. Seeing friends decidedly stirs interest. Looking at a splendid view with which one now lives (instead of just visits) deeply satisfies. But that childlike quality of excitement is now elusive; been there, done that.

Emotional resonance is not always a measurable response. The myriad faces of people enraptured in a movie, or a stage performance, can be as differentiated as rows of masks in a costume room. We give response to each according to our projections. In an audience one hopes that some apparently bland-faced people are enjoying themselves, that the person distractedly reading the program may not be bored, that the persons laughing out loud at the humour, or cringing at the drama, are entirely invested in the show. Non-response is difficult to gauge; reptilian and dismissive, such lack of evidence of being affected can discomfort. But then the mouth-open eyes-glued non-mobile face of some person watching an action-packed fiction can be mesmerizing. Yet it is the animated semiotics of those reciprocal viewers, such persons as full of responses to provoking images as if they themselves were actually on the rickety-rack-click-clack of the knuckle whitening roller-coaster that is altogether more interesting. Do I do that?

We are different in our responses. Childlike, childish, stoic, weepy, stolid, chatty, we each process the provocations of life in our own diffidence. And to presume that the more excitable one has been reached more readily than has been the strong silent type is assumption in action. Two pebbles given to a friend can mean more than a Rolex received for retirement. And a single hug at a given time and place can mean more than endless conversations. It is the sinking down into the depths of an ocean that can take longer than the splash-splash of a skipping stone. Appreciation may last; excitement may dissipate as quickly as smoke from a birthday candle. Hate hurts the hater most.

Thing is, if peace comes with acceptance as things are and excitement comes with things as we'd like them to stay it is no wonder we are at times so sad when the holiday, hardly begun, is already on its way to being over! Got to stay excited, one seems to keep feeling. Got to make things exciting! After all, peace is for later, when I am... old?

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