A Study in Empathy

The intrinsic nature, the art of conversation eluded him, how people strung thoughts together in progressive adornment and/or purpose. “Hello” was never beyond him, as well as other simple words and satisfactory phrases. At times he could hold his own with peers, match the effusions of any man or woman who should engage him. Inevitably, however, he would hit an impasse, and ambiguous fulcrum that rendered his thoughts without flow or impact. And there were conversations in their entirety that seemed impenetrable to him, as if they required him to swim through a block of glass: an impossible task at best.

I suppose people saw him as stand-offish, abrupt, anti-social, uncaring, oblivious, or misanthropic. Certainly, he wasn’t shy, fearful, reserved, or introverted. He merely dwelt in the trap of his own mind and body, the unforgiving flesh and viscera always incomplete in effect. For this frailty, he relied on the succor of those closest to him, who presaged the gaps in his communication and eased him around the voids and unto them.

Thus, I ponder what perhaps frustrates me most in this world: why are others’ burdens so often invisible to us? If these defenses circling our souls are meant to protect us, shield us from harsh exposures, know how much light that also excludes.

    And only in darkness does suffering flourish.
Copyright 2015


5 thoughts on “A Study in Empathy

  1. Great piece, I wrote something about our vulnerability today, not posted… But in the same way so much of what we do to protect ourselves also only serves to diminish the zest and real ness in our lives… Extending ourselves, being humbled and serving is natural in its true form…


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