Tuesday, April 11, 2006

First Impressions

Have you ever been so content with an impression that you actually don't want to know more, lest your impression prove untrue?

This evening, while picking up a CD at Target, I saw a woman with her young daughter. She had a slightly round face--not fat, but not fashionably thin by any means--and thick, dark, wavy hair. Her daughter was energetic, enthusiastic, and determined, holding on to her mother's hand and pulling her in the direction of something... I never did see what. Some parents, in a situation like this, look impatient, or distracted, or even slightly aggravated. This mother, however--it's rare to see a face so filled with satisfaction and empathy and love and happiness combined. At that moment, her daughter's childlike vitality was her whole existence; in that youthful glee, she appeared to have found everything that she wanted in her life as well. It was an almost beatific expression, one that an artist might continually endeavor to convey. And it was authentic; I don't think she was aware that anyone saw her face at that moment.

It was a beautiful face. This was not beauty in a superficial sense; most would have dismissed her full, rather unadorned face as plain. No, this was a beauty born of the moment, a beauty was so encompassing that I didn't want to know anything more. I didn't want to see what the child wanted. I didn't want to hear the mother's voice. There was a chance that anything else I saw would have proven that transcendent moment to be illusory, and I didn't want to risk it.

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