They say that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Most of the time, we don’t realize all this until the experience has long passed. It is upon looking back that we realize the relevance of the experience. I am grateful that for this particular encounter, I was fully present in the moment to witness and experience it. It’s not life altering or anything, but it was specifically and personally meaningful, which I guess, in the end, is what really matters.
It would most likely be evident from the blog posts that cynicism has crept into my system and as much as I might internally and secretly hope for encounters with kindred spirits, I am not counting on it to happen often–if at all. It is rare that I meet a kindred spirit on the path who really speaks to me–or so it seems.
The initial title of the blog post is “A Soulmate Encounter” and when I stepped back and thought about it, I would have to be honest that upon further examination of the experience and subsequent encounters with this particular kindred spirit, I am unsure whether he can be definitely classified as a soulmate… which still does not really detract from what might have been a one-off encounter with him.
So here’s what I hope would be a short and interesting, albeit admittedly expository, account of what happened.
I had encountered him years ago and it was interesting because we both did not make very strong impressions on each other, and this was evident because he did not even remember me this time around when we met again. I am not in a habit of randomly introducing, or furthermore, re-introducing myself, to people when I encounter them again–especially if it was not necessary. However, I don’t know what came upon me that afternoon when I reintroduced myself in a confident and friendly manner and let the whole fact that he did not even recall who I was roll down my back.
I am usually not so thick-skinned as to risk such a reception but for some reason that day I was feeling upbeat and nonchalant as I struck up some small talk reminding him about the circumstances where we met before and let the fact that he vaguely remembered pass. I went on my way and for some reason, kept on encountering him in passing and making a few comments here and there, which could be construed as small talk, except for the fact that small talk is usual trivial and both parties are not particularly interested in what the other has to say as much as they are interested in merely moving their mouths and having sounds come out and shallowly interacting.
For some strange reason, he seemed to be listening to what I said and asking relevant follow-up questions with a focused and intense gaze which signified that a flippant reply would not suffice. I am so jaded as to actually be surprised that there are conversations where people are still particularly interested in what the other party has to say, instead of merely engaging in meaningless verbal repartee. There was constant activity and our little pockets of conversation kept getting interrupted and I had to excuse myself a couple of times, a few times with relief because I was not prepared for such well thought of questions.
As chance would have it we eventually did end up having the opportunity to talk more intensely and we both were able to have a brief pocket of time when the conversation was permitted to proceed for a considerable length of time and it was like discovering a an unexpected present. I am unaccustomed to meet someone who seemed to “get” me and somehow who seemed to have the uncanny power of glimpsing into the shadow of my soul. It is rare to be able to converse with a kindred spirit, and even now, I am grateful for the moment. There are so many ephemeral moments which flit by but during rare times, we do get a treat–and this is one of them… these are moments which, while brief, possess their weight in gold.
It reminded me of Ethan Hawke’s movie Before Sunset in some ways, sans the flirtations. As much as I would like to claim that there was a romantic interest at the beginning, it would simply not be true. It was within the context of the gripping conversation that I suddenly found an appreciate for his quiet and intense gazes and saw his pleasing looks in a whole new light. Despite occasional flights of fancies which may be indulged in my mind or in writing, I am not wont to act in a manner which reflects what I feel.
So, no, there is no fairy tale ending here nor any romantic encounters in store, as much as I may secretly hope… for a myriad of reasons including the fact that all these notions are most likely one-sided, and I am sensible enough to acknowledge it. It is one of the more unfortunate facts of life that many things which we think or feel for someone else has a high probability of being one-sided. It doesn’t make the fact less painful to face, but the consequences of imprudently acting out on delusional thoughts would even be worse.
I find solace in the fact that I have at least made a friend. It is my wish that the friendship be more meaningful without necessarily leading down any romantic avenue which tends to be filled with emotional minefields. Perhaps this connection, real or imaginary, could last longer if it’s carefully framed as friendship because there is a certain solace in the safe distance friendship provides, though I cannot help but feel my heart skip a beat during the rare times when we communicate, nor can I help but feel my heart sink when I realize even more that this connection is special only in my own mind.
It is what it is and I am thankful to have met him again, for whatever reason.
(c) Niconica 2011*
*does not apply to image/s