the things i did not do


Life passes before our very eyes...

As a writer, I tend to carry an abnormal view of people, experiences, and life in general. Not a better view by any means, just a different perspective.

Unfortunately, I do not always pay attention to the right things. Too often I miss the importance of something because I am entranced by another thing altogether, such as a sound or image that is lyrical or visual in meaning. But what I once perceived as a flaw has become a hidden blessing. I see people. Actually see them. I watch their mannerisms and commit them to memory. I focus on facial expressions and replay them at a later time. I listen to their words because I never want to forget their meaning, intent, or passion.

Many people who know me think I am scatter-brained at times. I may not remember specific details about their life or the name of a pet or the place they work. I hear someone share the intimate details of their job and immediately realize I forgot it all. I am present when another tells me where they grew up but if you ask me to repeat it later, I will likely fail. I always apologize to new people I meet, especially women, because I am terrible with names and will probably have to ask them to repeat theirs when we meet again.

It takes me awhile to let the facts of a person’s life seep into my head and stay there. But I never forget who they are. I carry that with me. I cherish my ability to not simply see them, but to see inside them. Behind their physical appearance and beyond, into the spirit and soul.

One thing I wish I did better was to let people know this. That when I think of them at random moments in my day, I recall their uniqueness. The way their eye color shifts from green to brown and then a mesmerizing sunburst of both when they speak about their kids. Or the way their mouth lifts up just the slightest bit on one side if they think something is funny. Or how the lines at the edge of their eyes make them appear shockingly beautiful to me whenever they laugh out loud. Or how the subtle hint of their perfume or cologne in a random place reminds me of them. Or the animated way they talk with their hands whenever they are excited.

Although I live in a world of words, I do not always hear what others say. I may not recall something you told me last week, but I will remember how you told it and I will never forget the importance of who was speaking to me. One day, when I am near my final breaths, I will not regret the things I did not do. Instead, I will enjoy the memories locked tight within my mind and heart. Relive the smiles, mannerisms, and songs of laughter. I will hold those who  gifted me the glorious chance to see how a life is to be lived close and never, ever let them go.

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