For a few endless seconds...the world suddenly turned very surreal. Almost like I was the only still point in an endless sea of moving feet, arms, legs and mouths...who were all these people? What were they feeling? As I stood and watched, I knew that I would never know...and to be truthful...did I really want to know?
As my gaze narrowed, my eyes happened to take note of tables of people chatting over coffee and cake. Some tables were quite animated, others more subdued, and still others where the coffee drinkers were just sharing the same space, looking bored...
I was still in this surreal world where the seconds felt like they were being dragged through molasses, yet my focus grew sharper and more acute. I could see faces smiling, hands gesturing and eyes looking lively or dim. I noticed that the tables of girl friends sharing coffee were animated, active and noisy, while the mixed couples or mixed friends looked interested in what the others were saying...some smiling...others intensely engaged with the conversation.
As I shifted my gaze from table to table, I noticed (what I thought to be) the married couples or long time partners sharing their coffee...there was little to no conversation, no eye contact, no leaning in towards the other person to hear what they were saying...Have you ever noticed that?
Is it because they have run out of things to say? Is it because they have said too much? Or is it because they know each other as well as anyone can know another person, and so there is now no need for words? I will never know.
Have you ever noticed faces...I mean really noticed? Not just a pretty face in the crowd...I mean the face of a stranger whose lines and eyes and expression is so arresting...that their story, the one locked deep inside them, is screaming to be told? Have you ever noticed someone like that?
This is not a bad thing...it just is.
I am thankful at those times for my faith...where I know that I can always be truly known by God.
Don't worry...I am not a morbid person...I was just fascinated by my moment when time seemed to stand still in a busy shopping mall...and I noticed.