The grace of strangers

There’s a grace to strangers. A voyeuristic sense of wonder that comes from observing people at home in cultures that are new to me, in cities and towns I’m walking for the first time.

Everywhere I go, my eyes catch the ones who stand out. The ones with the wrinkles etched into their faces in such a way that I know they must have heaps of wisdom to share. The ones with the enviable, quirky style I spot from meters away as they walk down the sun-filled street towards me. The ones who surprise me. With their joyful expression, with the instrument they’re playing, with the way they walk, with their exuberant hat, with how they grab their lover’s hand.

Great satisfaction comes from the noticing. These people who I will probably never know at all, and that’s just fine. The grace lies in their mystery. In all of the stories they hold and all the ones they do not. Circling in the air around them, piquing my curiosity, and giving me the freedom to dream a little in that space. The space that comes from not needing to figure anyone out, or to pin anything down, the freedom to simply watch and imagine what is or what could be.

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