The family togetherness during a traditional Thanksgiving meal set me in a low-key good mood. After lunch, several of us drove to see Port Dawson, a very informal "landing" my father built on a sliver of land along the Ouachita River. The woodlands along the river were pretty as always--bare branches and the last of the browned leaves along with a few stray holly berries. Now I'm hanging out with relatives as the television plays football in the background.
I've written before in this journal about one attraction I find in journals--what I call the "missing fact". This is that life's phenomenon, encountered both on line and in "real life", in which one can detect the obvious omissions which a journalist (or person) makes by noting the things that they do disclose. I'm not merely an observer in this phenomenon, as I've noted a few times that there is one "Topic A" or another which does not get set forth in my journal.
Today I'm intrigued, though, that I find myself as interested in the spaces between the facts I know as I am in the facts themselves. I meet some people, either live or on line, and I very quickly realize that this person or that person has something more to them than the things I see. Of course, everyone has more to them than the things they share with all and sundry. All of us of course see disagreeable things in some others which we know are there but can refrain from learning without loss of any essential experience. Here, though, I'm talking about that sudden sympathy that one gets, that sense of "I know there is more to your story, and I know that I have no real idea what it is, and yet I know, as if a psychic told me, that I will like you even better once I know your story".
The funny thing is that it is wholly inessential that I learn the story to enjoy these untold tales. It's just the knowing that I like the spaces between peoples' stories as well as the stories themselves.
Some people just fascinate me, and become my friends, and yet I soak in the things I never learn in some ways just as much as the things I learn. I guess I love the spaces between the words as well as the words, when a book is worth reading. It's the ambient music people make. It can be such a thrill, or better than a thrill, a sense of quiet, complete connection.
What causes this odd whimsical sense? I have no idea. I meet someone I recognize as a kindred spirit, and I realize in short order that there is more than meets the eye to this person. I don't need to play Sherlock Holmes and figure out what those things will prove to be. I just *know*, having absorbed through some communication that I can't prove or explain, that someone is much more interesting to me than I realize,and that this interest will become clear with patient listening over time.
I do not believe this is a supernatural sense or anything. I suspect it is more
a matter of all sorts of communications cues about which I do not consciously think. Since it happens both in real life and on line, I'm not sure it's pheronomic.
Indeed, it may entirely be something that's a matter of pure fancy.
But still, in life I find so often that kindred spirits just appear in my life. They all have their stories to tell; sometimes they wish to hear things I have to tell. But the process is not a matter of detective work, or complex gossip, or even of "learning all the secrets". I have dear friends who have secrets from me I am sure I will never learn. Life is more than learning secrets. At the same time, though, sometimes I realize when I meet someone that I will know that person in some very deep way, even if I barely come to "know" them at all in other ways. It's not some hormonal thing, as it's not a phenomenon tied to attraction or physical characteristic. It's not something that will give me advantage or some personal nirvana. It's just that so much of what is interesting in life is the exchange of stories among friends, and it's so intriguing when one meets a friend with whom one will exchange stories. I see these curious LJ polls in which one says an anonymous thing to the poll-receiver. But for my money, I like that sense that I know people--including especially the fact that there is much I do not, and need not know. I am one of those people to whom people naturally confess, which I suppose makes it a bit sad I am not a priest or a detective. But I'll just settle for being a friend of fascinating people with intriguing stories.
As I sit here tonight, in the midst of family and quiet times, I'm grateful for the people I know, and for the thing I don't know--but might learn--about the people I know. I'm also grateful for the things I'll never learn or wonder about in the friends I have, and the pleasing ambiguities these add to our relationship