autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Snapshot thoughts from life…

Today was an excellent day; a number of interesting events and situations, a lot of opportunity to create new ways of speaking about ideas, progress on the coordinating for consensus front, and generally fun times.

And that was just at work.

As I stood upon a packed bus today, heading for home, the driver was obliged to tell folks at the stops along the way that he could not take on more passengers, but another bus was less than three minutes behind him. At the stop along the 520 bridge, a man in headphones missed that announcement and wound up with the experience of having the driver close the door in his face and drive off.

Naturally, it occurred to me to empathize with the fellow left behind and the perspective he must have had from the experience (judging by his expression), but it was also interesting to hear the conversation between the driver and a young man sitting in the front seat:

Driver – “I feel bad about that guy.”
Guy in 1st seat – “Not your fault, man; he had his headphones on, so he missed the information.”
Driver – “Yeah, you’re right; I’m not responsible for what he isn’t paying attention to, am I?”

Both laughed and that moment was behind us all (but for the memory of it, which I brought home and am placing here).

The next circumstance arrived near 112th, as an elderly woman boarded and, looking at the long line of folk standing in the aisle and all seats taken, turned to the front and swayed slightly trying to get a grip on the closest standing pole.

Mind you, I was already standing and asking her, “Ma’am, would you care to sit down?” But she didn’t hear me because the bus was roaring up in acceleration. So I waited the seconds it took for that to level off and asked again, “Ma’am? Would you like to sit here?” She turned to me with a grateful look and would have come to take the seat I abandoned (past the front two benches that are supposed to be for the elderly and physically needful), except two men, from opposites sides of the aisle were busy scrambling up to give her their seats. The woman took the seat offered by the young teen (who gave up a front seat on the right) and the older fellow on the left bench sat again, as did I.

The woman made a point of catching my eye and nodding a thank you; it amused me because no one thought about letting her stand at all until I asked her to take my seat and, apparently, she was acknowledging it. Me? I was just happy that two other people had offered, too; kind of the whole “just because” playing out, but also because it handily silenced the ego whispering in my head about how sad it was that I was the only one who bothered to offer. (Pesky things, egos!)

But what really made it interesting (and knocked the ol’ ego perfectly content; which is both a good and a bad thing, if you know what I mean), was that, at the very next stop, there was an even older woman using a shopping cart as a walker who got on…. I think about six people were halfway off their butts for her before she even cleared the boarding doors.

And, bless her heart, she looked to the woman sitting in the row across from me as she settled into her seat and said, “I just use this thing for carrying my groceries home; I don’t really need it as a walker.”

It made me think about all the times and ways I’ve heard all the things that a speaker thought was unsaid and unknown and safe from being known… and it also made me think about all the ways even my own perceptions of any of it were and likely are and will remain flawed and incomplete and at the mercy of my own interpretations of reality and meaning.

I guess you could say it all reminded me of the paradox that is “the experience”… how knowledge and meaning and the contextual frame we put forth to ourselves (or others) as “how it is” or “what it is” or even “why it is” usually is just our way of explaining it to ourselves or reassuring ourselves that we really “get it” or “understand it” or are “coping with it” at all.

But yes, despite the over-analysis and introspection-contemplation-shaping of it all (Or maybe because of it? Maybe it’s the same thing, eh?), a good day. A very good day indeed.


Meaningless meaning
Tracing patterns in the smoke
That is passing life