A couple of days ago I was cleaning out my work backpack, or as it could also be referred to, my Black Hole pack. Things disappear in it. I’m not sure what kind of physics are at play here. Perhaps deep down in my backpack the rules of physics just shut down… Perhaps there are items in there that end up in the Upside-down… That would be wicked cool. But the reality is that there are things that stay in the dark recesses of my backpack for a long, long time. Thankfully they are usually scraps of paper, old notes I’ve scribbled, maps to buried treasure, that sort of thing.
As I was removing the contents of my gravitational singularity (science and Star Trek geeks get that joke), I did come upon something a bit like buried treasure, the simple sketch I share with you above. I looked at it and memories came back of a bus ride, much like every other bus ride I’ve taken, except I was moved to draw something in ballpoint pen on a scrap of recycled note paper. It happened this way: We were stopped to drop off and pick up passengers along the route. As is usual, there were a number of people standing on the bus platform, invariably with that “waiting-with-a-group-of-strangers” look on their faces. For just a brief second I caught a glimpse of a young woman’s face out the window and, for some odd reason, I took that pen and drew a quick sketch of her. Then, for some other reason, I scribbled “How precious” under the portrait.
I’m not sure what frame of mind I was in that led to that. I can’t remember. But I have had these moments before, moments of profundity in a prosaic situation. That sounded really pretentious, sorry – I just meant moments that are profound in the middle of something everyday and mostly boring, like a commute home after work. Mostly these moments are centered on thoughts of the people around me, strangers going about their daily routine. I often catch a glimpse of someone and wonder about them – Are they happy? Are they loved? What secret battle are they fighting? Sometimes I even offer up a prayer for a person (silently, mind you). I really don’t know where this impulse comes from but my guess is that there is a soul-to-soul thing happening. I am acknowledging in a way that I see you, that is, the real you, and affirm your importance, your place, your connection to me as part of the human family.
That is where this simple sketch came from, I believe. I share it with you today in hopes that you realize it could be your face in the sketch, your face with the words “How precious” underneath, because that is what you are.
Part of why I have this blog is to communicate I see you to whoever ends up here, reading this far into something I’ve posted. You matter to me, even if I don’t know you or will never know you. Because you are unique, because we share so much more in common than we have differences, because the world is not the same without you.
How precious you are, worthy to be sketched, even if it is just in ballpoint pen on a scrap piece of paper.