First impressions do count. They are, in fact, seminal. If you are the sort of person that is able to look others in the eyes then whether or not they return your question becomes immaterial. Fear often prevents eye-contact. Respect, too. However, I would suggest that meeting another’s gaze – even for a few moments – will do you and them, wonders. In a case of respect, looking down after saying hello will demonstrate humility. And yes, humility is very important in a world like this. That does not ever mean you need to feel ‘lesser’ or be subservient to any other being, or put their opinions or needs above yours. Yours – are as important as the man’s standing next to you.
Impressions are what is left behind, as such. You can recall a strong impression in minute detail if you concentrate. First impressions are like red wine-stains – they take some washing out. Some may even remain forever. Like scars. Or blood. Blood – when you have seen enough of it – always makes an impression. A deep one. A voice makes an impression. The way a smell makes an impression. One that can last a lifetime, in fact. And some lives are very, very long.
When Alice first hit Wonderland she noticed the pea that had been sleeping under her mattress for the past months. The pea apologised profusely for the bruises she had caused Alice and they went to make an impression. They thought the best place for that would be at the palace of the Queen(s) of Heart. They were right. Fortunately, the pea made it into one of the Queen’s delicious soups and Alice was invited to partake of the fare. She saved the pea and sent the Old Queen into orbit. That is the way Alice works.
There was a time once in Amsterdam when I found myself confined between the tramlines for about two hours. It was a simple dilemma. Walk across the line, or don’t. That decision took some time and I am mighty glad that I made it when I did. I found myself right where I needed to be, which was particularly fortuitous. Another time in places flung far and wide I was fortunate to experience a good few touch-downs. I found touching-down more satisfying than being confined. Each has its merits, for a time, but it is one of the best feelings to find your feet planted firmly on earth after centuries of confinement in the sky.
Touch-downs involve scoring. Adding up points. In a game of football, a touch-down is the objective. Not the only one, but nevertheless one of the most important. All the members of the team are trained to understand that their objective is collective. They know that the ball will not get from one end of the field to the other without each man in his place. That is not to say that footballers do not exchange places from time to time to play other positions. They do. In a game of skill it pays to be able to play the entire field.
San Francisco is a great place to find tramlines. As is Switzerland. Riding trams is a joy in the wetter weather, the cold – and when you find treasures lying inside them. In my experience there is treasure to be found everywhere, particularly on trams that are made to sail past Wonderland on the way to Alice’s salvation.
I think Alice is still wandering around Wonderland. I don’t think she ever resurfaced. When faced with the choice of returning to this world as it is, she said, ‘No thanks very much, I think I’ll pass.’ She’s busy in an Underworld we see only in our dreams.
I wonder why there is no global body that can say ‘no’ to unacceptable happenings. Why is there not a resounding universal ‘no’ when it comes to rhino poaching, for instance? Why don’t governments stand for what is right these days? I think people need to remove political correctness from their agendas. This world needs a shake up. Syria needs peace. Gaza – is Gaza. People need to stop squabbling over land and let go of fighting for the honour of their past ‘heroes’. Who says anything ‘belongs’ to anyone in the first place? Like the way man will rape Nature’s resources and disrespect her convention. Or make rules for outer space. Space etiquette is more important than behaving like a reasonable human being on terra firma. I wonder some days just who we think we are on this planet.
I trust people with experience. I love learning, and being taught. I think we are all learning, all the time. It is a constant. As is change. To resist change is not brave. Change is what keeps the flow in this world, going. The richest languages are those evolving all the time, those in a state of flux. The same applies to people.