Sometimes there are moments in life where if we stand too close to something they become distorted and ugly. The looking at them make them turn into something we do not recognize, maybe something that was once familiar to us. It’s like approaching a glittering thing and realizing it is the eye of the venomous spider lying in wait–that eye’s reflection meant to draw you in to its unexpected web.
These moments can change us, make us too into something different from who we were or wanted to be. Maybe they frightened us or saddened us when we discovered that the treasure or beauty we saw from a distance was instead only a drab landscape when standing on the edge of its topography. Then the widening sink-holes appear or the quick sand to gobble you beneath hungry earth.
From afar it’s hard to judge. But close up every blemish, hair follicle and true bit of ones convoluted character rears its ugly head when two circle one another like ritualistic beasts. It’s easy in the wide open prairie or dense forests to ‘know’ your fellow wanderer as they slip in and out behind branch and stone or up and down sandy dunes. It’s when caught in the close confines of a culvert and trapped unable to leave that one learns that friend may become foe.
Blurring ones eyes and keeping the world as an impressionist painting may be the easy way out. Taking the risk and standing face to face with another or hiking far enough into the horizon to break down beauty into minutiae may hold no gifts in the end.
Or, if by luck, the one looking back holds your soul–or the minutiae hides a gem, then maybe it was worth the risk.