What You See is What You Get

I want to ki-- you.

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goethe

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There are silent conversations which happen within us all the time. We talk to ourselves, we answer back, we discuss things with others, they speak with us, we chat with things as well as people, and things communicate with us… all within the confines of our mind.

If someone looked at us they might assume that we are being silent, our mouth is closed, no sound is being emitted, we aren’t talking with them (even though we may be doing so in our mind)… they might wonder why we aren’t talking with them, and depending on the quality of our silence, on their perception of it, they might take our silence personally triggering an inner conversation of their own.

Why are we not speaking with them? Was it something they did or said, did they offend us, hurt us in some way and now we’re giving them the silent treatment? How dare we give them the silent treatment, they’ve done nothing wrong! They must get us to break our silence… but they can’t think of anything to say.

During this inner interaction, they have been silent on the outside. If we were looking at them we might have concluded that all was quiet on the inside as it was without. Perhaps we noticed a furrowing of their brow and decided that they were deep in thought,  we may have wondered what they were thinking… was it about us? We like the idea that they might be thinking about us, but not if it is a bad thought, one which causes a brow to furrow. What have we done now? We’ve been sitting here silently, not bothering them, surely our silence did not upset them as usually it is the words which spill out of our mouth which does that, maybe they are brewing a storm based on something we said earlier, the other day, last week… which they’ve only now decided to get upset about. If that’s what is going on, we really don’t feel like talking with them.

This is just one of many possible ways a silent conversation might flow. It very much depends on those involved, on what they are carrying with them, within them, on context, on all the other silent conversations occurring simultaneously in the moment.

The two quotes above appeared close together on my Pinterest home feed, they seemed to be having a silent conversation with each other. I checked to see if they were from the same Pinner, as if they were then the quotes might reflect a conversation which one person was having with themselves, however they were from different Pinners, therefore they were fragments from two separate silent conversations which just happened to intersect under the gaze of my eyes, becoming a part of my silent conversation.

When my eyes alighted upon the first image (which actually came after the second image in my home feed) I did fill in the blanks, as the mind is want to do… and then did a double-take when I realised that I had options as I hadn’t noticed that there were blanks because I filled them in before I noticed that I was reading the words. What letters did I choose? Did they reflect what I was carrying in my heart at the time, and perhaps always carry in my heart? Were they a result of the moment or of a moment before, from the past, near or far? Were they influenced by the context, the other silent conversations through images and words, surrounding that pin?

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I want to ki-- you context

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We are not always aware of what we see, not always aware that what we are seeing is influenced by so many of the other things which we see but don’t necessarily notice. We filter to focus. We focus on what is at the front of our mind, and what is at the front of our mind shifts our focus and how we perceive the world, and all the people and things in it.

If we are feeling good, because something positive is at the front of our mind, giving us sunny filters through which we view the world, then someone else’s silence becomes something we may look upon as a relaxing moment of contemplation which they are having with themselves. We do not take it personally… and if we do, we might imagine that the curve of their lips form a smile because they are thinking a sweet thought about us.

If we are feeling bad, sad, mad, then the world, people and things in it change accordingly.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with how we are feeling, and everything to do with the context of the moment, the myriad things which surround our point of focus, which add meaning to it. Such as the portrait of the man next to the Goethe quote, the image of the human angel poised on a ladder, or perhaps the lip photograph, or… all of it blending together to create a collage in our mind, a silent conversation within inspired by many separate silent conversations without.

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goethe quote context

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What you see is what you get… but what are you seeing… and what are you getting… what are you seeing of what you are getting… and does how you see what you are getting make you see what you are seeing differently?

What we get, and how we see that which is gotten, often holds our attention more than how we were seeing what we saw to get what we got… it’s very complicated being human and owning a human mind and all the bits which go with it.

What are you seeing and getting from this (a headache, perhaps)?