Riddles, Layers, and Shoelaces

“We’re going to be here a while, she’s the person that has to untie her shoes before putting them on and tying them again” -J.E.

In just a few days, half of the world will be grapefruit pink and champagne, with a light muskiness in the air. On the other side, the one shrouded in darkness, there will be gray spirits looking longingly out towards the sunset wistfully, nostalgically, or tragically.

I’ll be the one sitting under the stars, smiling.

As a wannabe anthropologist, relationships fascinate me. Every person has their own chemical makeup, and when it touches another, colors change, sensations flash forward, and in my case: fingers tingle, and my heart flutters in its cage.

But what is it that has us so caught up in each other? I believe it is the desire to know, and to be known. Our brains are like kaleidoscopes, stunning but confusing. I see the world like a Renoir, think about it in riddles, and experience it in layers. Then I lace them to my sole, and hope I walk in the right direction. For a young man to look me in the eye with amusement and mutual fascination about how we interpret and interact with the world would mean so much to me. It would mean he sees it similarly, and that I’m not as crazy as I think I am. It would mean I am not alone. And if there is anything that any social science can agree on, it is that humans hate being utterly alone.

And then God invented irony.

We are never utterly alone. Because I find that strangers can be the most honest of people, most understanding, most heartfelt. She smiles when a baby cries, his son spends most of his time in Torino with his mother, and she doesn’t know what she’s doing in Sacramento, running from something perhaps. So while we are all on our quest to find our person, along the way we can catch a few fireflies in common with others and fill that desire to be known in small doses. It doesn’t all have to happen at once, and Mr. Incredible doesn’t exist in one neat gift-wrapped package.

Part of the fun of life is discovering pieces of yourself in others, and then enjoying the camaraderie of the moment. So whether you are a single Pringle, or you’ve found your missing shoe, go into this Valentine’s Day openhearted and ready to know someone. And to be known in return.


  1. “Our brains are like kaleidoscopes, stunning but confusing.” I have never seen kaleidoscopes as confusing, rather as a systematic play of light, an example of simplicity as the ultimate sophistication. And in the same way I look at relations between human beings were simplicity can be the ultimate sophistication. And where complexities can be and should be avoided.

    Lovely written blog, I enjoy reading it!


    Liked by 1 person

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