How A Face Connects Us All

Time perception by a form

Time perception by a form (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I look at people these days I tend to contemplate their lives much more than I used to in previous years.  Probably as a result of my husband’s illness and years of struggles that we have endured as a result, I see things in a new light.  When I focus on someone, I find myself wondering things like “I hope your life is alright” or “I wonder what kind of hardship you are experiencing right now.”  I don’t focus on the negative aspect of this, but I pause to realize the reality that all of us experience stress at different times of our lives and in different magnitudes.  But it is a given.  The hope is that such stress, when it comes, does so few and far between, and with a temporary stop-over to moving on and out of your life.  As I pause to study the strangers and their faces, my perception of them can change as I remind myself of this unfortunate truism.  We all deal with stress at some point in our lives.  But, the truism lends itself to connecting all of us too.  In that sense, it is positive.  My initial perception of the stranger as a fellow human changes my interpretation of that person (and likely my response to him as well).  After that initial first impression, I study that person some more – all of this occurring in seconds – and I see a new layer under the initial glance.  Any potential negative I may have had is removed and I can see the fellow human.  I get closer and I can see the beauty.  It is there, it always is, but you have to take the time to look more intently and to remember that there is good there if you pause. 

One of my neighbors and friends is a talented photographer who started taking a photograph a day of a person two years ago.  She calls this “Face the Day.”  Every day a new person is photographed and captured – maybe a friend, maybe an acquaintance, maybe a stranger.  I have been one of her faces before.  She took my photo from far enough away that when I saw it on the computer screen I thought “How did she do that?”  She captures the details, the lines, the subtleties, the emotions.  I realize as I browse her gallery (as I hope you will too – click here) that my perception of some of my neighbors that I am viewing on my computer screen have changed.  I see something different when I am allowed to look deeper at that person.

I encourage you to pause and study the faces around you.  Study your colleagues, acquaintances, friends, and family – you will see a deeper, more human side.  And you will be reminded that we all are connected and that if given the chance, you can see a new layer, a positive one, potentially hidden that is waiting to be discovered.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by patrick beggs on May 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    always great to read. Time well spent. and thoughtful, thank Erica


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