Sometimes I like to play a game with myself. For a few days I will make it a point that everywhere I go, into each store, each person I come in contact with I will pay attention to and make a meaningful comment to them. At the grocery, or Target, or a restaurant, or wherever, I take a moment to notice them, and then acknowledge them. It might be what they’re wearing or the service they provide, or anything that strikes me, but I make it a point to talk with them.
As it has been said:
Love and a cough cannot be concealed.
Even a small cough. Even a small love.Anne Sexton
The first time I decided to play this game was the first time I moved to Albuquerque after walking away from my career. I was living in an apartment in the city and was vacillating between loving being invisible and feeling so lonely from my invisibility I could barely move. This was my solution at the moment. Be seen and see others in small ways. And I enjoyed it. It was easy, and people smiled. And I smiled too. And it was enough.
And then once, I noticed that my dog left her ball outside my son’s door one morning while he still slept. A small gesture that she wanted to play ball, and she was hoping he would play soon. Beautiful. Heart-breaking too, how delicate and sweet, the note of love and hope. It was so generous of her not to wake him.
I’ve continued to play my game in the four years since, even though my loneliness is more enjoyable these days. And my invisibility is happier. I enjoy seeing people smile for that moment. It is a good game to play. Everybody wins.
Try it out for a few days yourself.