06/12/2009

There are always spare seats


I can see you looking for a seat and I guess that if our eyes were to meet, you would see that you are quite welcome here, next to me.
And I might talk to you - but that's okay, right? That's what happens in these situations. Someone is kind enough to offer you a spare seat, and at the very least, a small bit of conversation is normally conducted; phatic, friendly.
And I know where to draw the line, where the clock stops.
So, there you have it. The kind of thing that can go on in a place like this; "Hey, stranger! You're in the same boat as me! Let's paddle together!"
It's not generally the kind of thing one can do in a regular public place, is it? You can't really just draw attention to a seat going spare next to you and expect a rational, safe set of responses.
People will hesitate.
people will doubt.
people will not recognise that they are in the same boat - which they are.
But when the boat is this big, carries this many people, people sometimes don't even realise they're in the boat in the first place.
So this is where the caution sets in. Why is this stranger offering me this seat? What do they want? Well, sometimes they just want to connect with you. And sometimes you don't want that - and that's cool.
But there is nothing to be afraid of, and see that we are all in the same boat.
This is something that can be common ground, because, underneath it all, we are here, looking towards the waters together.
And sometimes people often see something different to what other people see. Some see calm, some see a storm and the trepidation that comes with it. Others see nothing but the water at night, and the unknown journey through it.
But, here, under our feet, there is only one boat, just as there is only one sea. So, take a seat, and tell me your name.