the others…

28 Feb


Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”  — Timothy Leary

When I came across this quote a few days ago, something about it struck me and caused the words to linger with me through my days.   More and more I find myself taking chances on conversations, and while connections are not always made, I’m often glad I made the effort to stay open.   I am also amazed by how often the normal moment  blossoms into something wholly (holy) unexpected.  There are some excellent folks showing up.  Life brings these moments to our doorstep to experience the real – BEing there and allowing unfolds happenings of connectedness.

Blessings on your heads – all my stranger friends – my others.


22 Responses to “the others…”

  1. ptero9 February 28, 2014 at 1:54 am #

    It’s so true, but it is a chance. Who hasn’t started a conversation w/ a stranger on a bus or plane and wished we hadn’t. On the other hand, I have had some of the most amazing conversations w/strangers, especially while traveling.

    Love the Leary quote!!

    • marga t. February 28, 2014 at 2:16 am #

      My behavior tends toward introverted, but last few years, there seems to be an organic flow of connection in the moment – not so much like Leary’s “What makes you cry” way but more of a flow of camaraderie in the business of life. Connections almost seem to occur because I have no agenda of connecting at all; the linking seems to pop up on its own with eye contact, jokes in passing, helpfulness deep and genuine but quick, and easy. Just flow, one amoeba human flowing next to another – passing in the stream, recognizing each other and moving on…oh, goodness, hard to put into words. Conversations with words and words and words – not as connecting at all for me. I like that you bring up the “chance” aspect of reaching out and closing the gap which can be a crapshoooooooot!
      Hope you are having a lovely night, Debra!

      • ptero9 February 28, 2014 at 4:13 am #

        Thanks Marga!

        I was thinking about eye contact. Yes, when we dare to look, we’re bound to catch an eye that looks back.

  2. seeingm February 28, 2014 at 2:58 am #

    I love those looks from the “normal people” that seem to be investigating if horns of strangeness can be found sprouting upon the socially eccentric (like that word better than awkward) head. It is fun to see who else can hear the music that is being broadcast from them as we swing from the trees.

    boop boop aboopa lopa lum bam boom -x.M

    • marga t. February 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

      Ms. M – How many coffee pots can fit on the head of a pin at 30,000 feet? That is a question from a strange friend, indeed 😉 Reading your comment made me remember a brief dance I shared with a lovely one of my others at Trader Joe’s last week when the tunes just got so great we had to MOOOve. We met again at the toiletries section and shared our love of the Antioxidant Facial Serum. I think your beautiful face would sing from this stuff too – if you are making the 2 hour trek anytime. How blessed it feels to be able to let the one eyed purple people eater out into the world – to swing from the trees – hopefully for good! The flip side of this freedom would be the aloneness that feels so scary and haunting. A song for this would be:


  3. Line February 28, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    I have always lived by this! But I have always been little weird…..I talk to strangers, I knock on the door of strange people’s houses if I like the house, I give random compliments to homeless people, I offer people on the bus a piece of my chocolate, I ask someone I just met why they think they are here on this planet. But I have to say, not everyone likes it when you behave like this, I have been judged and scared away many times, but anyways, I just keep being myself, most of the time it works 🙂 Thank you for this lovely post! 🙂 I am happy to see that I am not alone in feeling like this 🙂

    • marga t. February 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      Love you and your weird self, Ms. Line 🙂 I hope that sharing these open hearted tendencies with each other will give us the courage to keep ourselves open from whatever corner of the world we inhabit knowing that our “others” are very much like us and doing a similar dance with us even when we appear alone. Knock, knock, I love your lovely house! Wanna dance a bit in puddles before they evaporate into the sky?

  4. David Kanigan February 28, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Wonderful quote. Thank you.

    • marga t. February 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      Thanks for venturing over Mr. Kanigan!

  5. Kelly Kuhn February 28, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Love, love, love every word of this. Maybe someday the stranger whom you look in the eye and ask a Real Question will be delighted. And maybe she will be me.

    For some time I practiced more intention with strangers, particularly people in service positions that I previously barely noticed. At the grocery store, I would pause when checking out and really look the clerk in the eye to sincerely notice her. It brought me more in touch with our shared humanity, and how we are all souls in skin. Your post is a good reminder of what a blessing that was.

    • marga t. February 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

      Your last line, “a good reminder of what a blessing that was,” should be in present tense – as once one starts flowing this way – I think it is a short leap back here, again and again. There is something about the check out exchange that can be so wonderfully intimate and connecting. I found myself in the scrambling pace of my life right now checking out at 10pm, and as I tried to help bag, the beauty checking me out said, no, you rest, you’ve worked hard today – Let me do this for you, said with such tenderness I could have cried. She mothered me – while she was working a late shift…such blessings. She may have been you or maybe you were my dance partner in Trader Joe’s. We dance together all the time, you and me, Kelly Kuhn! So love knowing you are in the world with me!

      • Kelly Kuhn March 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

        Oh geez, you just stopped me in my tracks. Thank you for the reminder of the present tense!!! And thank you for sharing your check out experience. I relish it, and hope you’ll write a post about it someday. That may be all there is to it – just a short encounter – yet there is so, so much in it. What grace. It wasn’t me, as the giver or the receiver, but I feel compelled to pay it forward this afternoon in this noisy Starbucks.

        Oh, but I sort of did already! Several hours ago, while looking for a spot in a parking garage, I watched a driver try to pull into a spot that she could obviously not get into. She scraped her vehicle at least a foot against a parked van before backing up and pulling away. I had my daughter write down the plate info of the van, and I drove off to find the offending car. After depositing my daughter in her location, I went back to the car to take pictures of the damage and license plate to give to the police. At first I didn’t know who was inside, and I was afraid of what I might encounter, but the urge to do the right thing was overpowering.

        The young driver was still inside, and I felt so sorry for her. She is probably only 18 years old. I went to her window and gave her a big smile so she would not be afraid. She cautiously opened her door, and we talked briefly. She was stressed, afraid, uncertain of her next step, and had already started the note she would slip under the van’s windshield. Like your clerk, I mothered the young woman. I lovingly told her what to do, reassured her it would be ok, and asked if she was ok. She said she was fine, but she was clearly shaken, and in need of reassurance.

        And after writing all that for you, I realize how much time I spend every day focusing on what needs to be corrected in me, and what needs healing. That is good. Yet I spend too little time soaking up my goodness. Which is exactly what I need to do today. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

        We are beings of light – just imagine how much more we are blessing (present tense!) the world as we celebrate that!

    • marga t. March 3, 2014 at 2:33 am #

      Thank you for sharing your mothering moments – the experiences we need and those we can do for others have a way of showing up, don’t they? I love your phrasing, soaking up your own goodness – quite powerful, that! xo!!!

  6. andelieya 安德洌雅 (official) March 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Great post! Why is it like taking a chance to talk to a stranger? Because of our fears. Fears of rejection and getting hurt. Fears of exposing our imagined weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Fears of appearing inferior, stupid, clumsy, unintelligent, lacking talent. Fears of having nothing to offer, Fears of being utterly insignificant and not mattering to the world. It looks like the work has to start from inside out by eradicating those false views we have of ourselves.

    • marga t. March 3, 2014 at 2:36 am #

      andelieya, What is fear and what is the self that worries about all these things from weaknesses to insignificance created from a feeling of lack? More and more the tide turns against this sort of fearfulness, thank goodness! Thank you for your skill at naming the crux of the thing.

  7. Michael March 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Those pesky others… I think I am realizing more and more my notion of others is a false witness. No one is quite who I once thought they were. What is this strange malady I seem to have that grows on the inner walls of my mind like a biofilm, that insulates my deepest yearnings from the world around me? And yet here I am, an other to you… as you are an other to me… Yet I feel as though I can check off one of the boxes, can cross through the word other on that long, long list of others I carry around, and much as I would be tempted to replace it with another word, I think it is maybe best to leave it blank. Why trade one malady for another? In this one discovery of holy emptiness dressed up as other, have I not found every One? Have I not been released from every trap I’ve ever made? Has the whole world not been set free?

    Blessings returned.


    • marga t. March 3, 2014 at 2:41 am #

      The time the separation is apparent does stand in contrast for me still to when the walls and veils are coming down and I get fuzzy at my edges. The more I see the other as me, the more I flow in the ease of this freeness you see and name. Beyond any new names – I’m just calling out to myself really – the other ME,s out there, in here, all the same! Sounds so woo woo but it is such a wonderfully functional state of being- so much easier than the separated soldier I sometimes think I am. So enjoy the words you use that provoke always new ways of seeing and being, M! Bless you!

  8. Andrea March 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    I’m honored to be an Other in your world, and I am so grateful I have found you to be in mine. xoxoxo!!!

    • marga t. March 3, 2014 at 2:43 am #

      Sister from an other mother 🙂 Thinking of you this Sunday night and wishing you cozy bedtime rituals and ease in your flow. XO!!

  9. lauriesnotes March 16, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Funny, I wanted to stop over and say Hi! Blessings back!! Thanks for all the times you visited and I felt your presence..without many words at all.

    • marga t. March 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      It is funny how we can overlap in our presence without any words – often sending you good vibes! 🙂

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