Tonight my son, Guy, said something so insightful, that I said, "I'm going to steal that." Which is what I like to say when someone says something particularly pithy. (Pithy is such a good word! You may steal it) He said, "Well, people are 3-D."
Isn't that exactly right?
Why is that so difficult to remember? I know I say things like...people have different sides, and a favorite of mine- you can't really know what goes on inside someone's home/relationship (very true). But tonight I think those sorts of adages are yet another way of dismissing the formation of true knowledge of others. If you can't really ever know someone else completely, if all people are actually multi-faceted and indeed, "multi-faced," then why put in the effort to understand them?
Meanwhile I can do a really nice pucker-up and lip-service acknowledgment of how everyone is different, blah blah blah. I want to really examine my own beliefs on this subject under the twirly fluorescent bulb that is my son. "People are 3-D."
What occurs to me about 2-D vs. 3-D is that in 2-D, you can only see what is presented to be seen. In three dimensions, you can see behind. You can see inside.
Under, over, around, on top of, slightly off plumb, whatever. Apply your favorite preposition to someone you love today!! Why does this seem so different to me than just saying people have different sides? Maybe because even a 2-D paper cut out has different sides. The back of a paper doll is equally as dull as the front. It means nothing to my hands that itch for texture and structure and things to wrap around.
Right now I'm thinking of my own body...things I think about it sometimes. Things I think about others, too. Too much flesh on my inner thigh, a scar under my eye, hairs that curl at the slightest bit of moisture all around my ears and stick out like a bad Einstein impression. I'm thinking about people...the almost endless subtleties of skin, moles, teeth, flesh, smiles, eyes, expressions, emotions, hands and arms and legs, talents, abilities, and stories- from the sparkling to the sad. Victims and amputees, fashion models, fresh-minted babies...and, the dying.
I want to know them all. For an instant or for a lifetime. Whatever fits. I want to tell them they are all perfect. Perfectly animate. Perfectly, beautifully, 3-D.
I may not ever fully understand them...maybe they don't want me to. But I can show others that I see them. YOU are here. I see YOU, and that fact Matters.