The New York Times is running a very cool feature right now called One in 8 Million. It struck me because I think it's beautifully designed, but also because it reminded me of This I Believe and Storycorps, two undertakings that are all about showcasing the opinions and stories of regular, exceptional people.
It made me wonder: What's behind this national search for connection, this desire to hear other peoples' stories?
I see it in myself. More than ever, I want to know what books my friends are reading, what my family thinks about the economy, what my colleagues think about the situation in Isreal and Palastine. I want to build connections.
I find myself looking for them in song lyrics, in novels. I am looking up to the mountains more, feeling more calmed than usual by the pink light, by the sights of the Crow's Foot to the South (not steep enough to ski) and the Medusa Face of Mount Olympus to the North (too steep for me).
Maybe this is coming from Facebook, from the carefully constructed presentations I'm seeing from people I knew once or maybe never. Maybe it's that I'm learning things about my friends - via Facebook - that I've never heard from their mouths, and it makes me wonder if I've been kind enough to them, if I've been the friend they need.
I think we're hard wired to be attracted to some people and opposed to others. If we like someone, I think we feel it before we know it, that something inside - our souls, our hearts, our mind's eye - tells us, "go ahead, it's ok...you'll be able to trust this person forever."
And in the same way, no matter how much we want to share ourselves with some people, sometimes we just can't. We see similarities, we like the way they look, we want to be their friend, but something holds us back; something says no.
I thought about all this today, at work, while listening to Rob Zombie. I know, it seems incongruous, especially after my ode to Ryan Adams in the previous post (of course, Ryan's musical roots are in heavy metal, so I guess it's really not that much of a departure).
I hate violence, horror movies, loud noises, agression (I'm starting to sound a bit like Buster)...but I love Rob Zombie. Something about him intrugues me. I'm drawn to him. I think he's probably a nice guy; I think we'd be friends.
I don't know where I'm going with any of this. I'm just feeling lucky tonight, I guess, for meeting new friends, for reconnecting with old ones. I feel lucky, too, that it's never over, this evolution of self. We aren't static; today is finite - this too shall pass - but it launches us into what comes next. There are so many people to meet, so many experiences to anticipate, fear, learn from, enjoy.