Kafka and observations on observation

18 Oct

What is the last time you observed yourself as passionately and sharply as the narrator observes the girl in the above piece? What is the last time you focused on yourself with the same vigour that we often focus on others, comparing ourselves to people around us, pondering over someone’s thoughts or appearance.

Why does the narrator above become so transfixed upon this girl, this fellow passenger?

Is it because she simply is so mesmerising, in which case, the moment should be cherished. To fall in love fast and several times a day is not a weakness but a sign that you are alive and feeling.

Or is it because, by focusing on someone else, it becomes easier to push aside the confusion the narrator feels in himself? Is it escapism? Does the narrator forget for one blissful moment the feeling of being lost in life by getting lost in this girl’s chestnut hair and dark complexion?

I believe that looking at someone, observing someone, is a bit like checking our appearance in the mirror. Often we praise in others qualities we would long to have ouselves, or we walk around disliking someone and picking on their shabby clothes and funny intonation because we are, ourselves, scared to open our mouth or put on our itchy, old jumpers.

We can find in others the traits we value in ourselves or the dark pits of our mind that we run from.

And it is easy to construct grand lists of various reasons in our heads, contemplating why someone is worse or better off than we are. But the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Are those lists actually productive? Do they help us to make a change or should we seek this change by turning our focus to ourselves?

I dare you to do it, right now, to sacrifice a moment just for yourself, no matter how busy you are. To observe the little hills of muscles on your skin and your beautiful, powdery blue blood vessels shining under your skin, your feet and twitching toes carrying you through the day. The shades of light hitting your hair and bouncing off, the changing expressions on your face, the smoothness or raspiness of your skin, the curve of your lip.

Observe yourself with the same wonderment present in The Passenger, look at yourself and say:

I am an amazing living thing.

Give yourself as much praise as you give others, and as much honesty. Hand out smiles to your mirror image as generously as you do to your best friends upon long-waited reunion.  Look at yourself and say:

Thanks for being there every night I go to bed. You’re the one who I always come back to.

Because you might feel envious or in awe when you look at others. You might beat yourself down with your comparisons.  But is your dwelling on them going to change things for you?

Focus on yourself. Work on happiness from inwards. Because at the end of the day, you are the only person you have to have a relationship with for the rest of your life. So make it a good one.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Kafka and observations on observation”

  1. ruleofstupid October 19, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    What lovely sentiments – you big softie 🙂

  2. daydreamdaisies October 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    Aww thank you. 😀 And there’s no denying it, I am a hopeless softie.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: