She'd never know I'd spotted her. I'm sure she wouldn't care. Her eyes were set on her screen. Others shuffled around and past her. She gave no notice. A world of cars coming and going moved at moderate speed, competing for space within the lanes of the crowded highway. But something about her captured me. Generic, I thought. Her pose, her eyes, her stance. We are all generic to one another. The screens hiding us, eliminating the need to interact, to respond, to initiate any kind of interaction. In fairness, it was 6:30 AM. Early commuters not ready yet to engage the brain.
But, my travels near and far across this country illustrate much the same. Screen dominated humans, old and young, this is what we've become.
A seventy-ish couple seated across from me too, huddled together--each with their faces careened toward their screens. Who knows what's captivated them. It's so funny to watch them shift their heads up and down to accommodate their progressive lenses, squinting all the while too. What could it be they're looking at? A Lady Gaga video? Their 401K portfolio? Pictures of their grandchildren? It's a game I play with myself. Silly, I know. I stare.
And then sometimes it's me that's riveted on my screen. Guilty of missing the moments that live right in front of me. My screen, apparently, now accumulates the amount of time I spend staring at my own phone. I am painfully aware of my own screen habits, I don't need Google to remind me.
But now, I sit. I stare a long stare. That sky, the planes, the comings and goings of the airport. The accumulating luggage alongside my plane. What are the lives of these people that support me and my life? I try now to approach these fleeting moments, cross sections of strangers, accumulated fleeting moments that some might think are a dead zone. But for me? The writer, the human, the teacher, the parent. I love to lift my head and engage. I don't apologize for my curiosity. I am not nosy. I'm a seeker. Living in the moment, collecting moments. Practicing presence. There are too many moments I've missed. Work. Busy-ness. On the go. Constantly moving. Now? I'm concentrating. I'm holding on to what is real. Enjoying the human lives that surround me always. Appreciating all that's human, I am anonymous to them, riveted from inside the window of my mind.