Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Islands in the stream

"There are oceans of feelings between us," Jimmy Buffett once wrote, "currents that take us and sweep us away." I think everybody's favorite Parrothead may have said more than he knew.

I heard something described about me the other night, inadvertently, that to say the least was quite shocking. It was downright ironic given the circumstances, but that's another story for another day.

What it got me to thinking about is the fact that quite often how we perceive a situation can sometimes be 180 degrees away from the truth. But, sadly, perceptions are often reality.

Sort of like the time I ran into this girl from Halls High who was clerking at a store. She told me that she thought all through school that I didn't like her -- hated her, in fact. The sad part is I couldn't quite even remember who she was.

It also got me to thinking about the communication gap that human beings seem to have, particularly Buffett's oceans of feelings that often exist between men and women. I'm the world's worst at navigating those waters. Sometimes it makes me wonder why.

But I've long had a difficult time telling the women in my life exactly how I feel about them, so maybe it's just me. God, it took me 10 or more years to tell one or two -- no joke.

I'll just be honest with you: part of it with me is fear -- of rejection or embarrassment or whatever else. Part of it is I often think of exactly what I want to say -- about 30 minutes later. That's why I love that Don Williams song that RobinElla sings all the time -- singers on the radio can say it so much better than I usually can.

Speaking of which, I heard a Paul Simon song this morning driving into work, all about people talking without speaking and hearing without listening. I think that's exactly right. I'm guilty of it, anyway.

So, I think the best thing to do is just speak up. Don't think you have much to lose anyway. Plus, I can promise you that not voicing how you feel will just eat you up inside anyway. There's this one girl that I think about nearly every day, and probably will to some degree for the rest of my life. That's no good, man. No good at all.

It amazes me, though -- absolutely amazes me -- just how far apart islands in the stream can sometimes be.

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