Loss of Gloss

It’s odd, our mental construction of the world. Look at something superficially, and we see the whole: look at a carpet, you’ll see the pattern, the color, maybe some indicators of the age. Think about it, or stare at it for longer, and the details and mistakes shine through. Suddenly, the beige carpet is actually a slightly-torn, compressed collection of threads, cheap, plastic threads. Debris collects in the gaps. There, a piece of orange. And the mystique and beauty is gone.

Examined another way, the unseen is always fantastic. Try this: without looking, run your fingertips over the surface of the underside of your desk. Feel the nooks, feel the irregularities in the coating, work your way over the support struts, feel the smoothed corners, or the welder’s marks, or whatever strikes your fingertips as interesting. While doing so, forget the actuality of what you are touching, and explore the feeling of it. Chances are, you’ve just discovered the underside of your desk is infinitely interesting, full of character and promise.

Now look under your desk. Isn’t that just so disapointing to reveal the magic? The reality of it is so mundane compared to what your fingertips just told you about it. In many ways, further thought is like looking under a powerful microscope: the whole disapears into individual molecules: messy and complex.

I wish sometimes, that I could not examine everything, but just let it be.