Thursday, September 3, 2009

In reflection

Throughout my life, i've often heard from others that i'm starved for attention. In many ways, this is true. When i'm at a party, i tend to be the one regaling everyone with stories and and having them in stitches. At lunch, the subject, if it's not on something general that we all can discuss, is usually about me and some aspect of my life. In public, i make sudden loud noises when i stretch, i don't mind singing a song at high volume, and i'll goof on my girl and say something like "No, i will NOT kiss you on the subway. God!" very loudly. When i was younger, i was frequently nominated to represent our class in school-wide speaking events and had very little problem presenting in front of large groups. I enjoy the spotlight, in fact when in it i feel a very similar sensation as when i'm being served by someone. But, to say that i'm attention starved, i'm not sure i agree with that statement. In fact, when you put that in the framework of my power exchange, it doesn't fly. I quite frequently give a great deal of attention to my girl - certainly it is in the service of my appetites, but it is also servicing her appetite to submit. It is her rump i spank, her dress code and look i manage, her limbs i bind, and her entire body i cocoon. This is not attention that is reciprocated. All of this had me pondering what exactly it means to seek someone's attention.

Is it merely just someone becoming your audience? That wouldn't seem to be enough, really. If they just stood there, blankly staring at you, not offering any emotional response or feedback. We want kind words, pleasing and complimentary words. We want validation, we want applause. We want to see evidence of joy created in the person, but even that isn't the root of what we seek. We want to know that we offer this person, the world, something valuable, intangible, unique. What are we really after?

Our reflection.

Attention from someone is the kindest mirror we could possibly encounter. I remember as a kid, i used to have a notebook-sized mirror i would take off my wall and put on the floor and pretend it was a doorway to another world through the ground. And i would visit with this person, and ask them what was in their world, and i would eventually come to learn that the world in that looking glass was the idealized version of the world i lived in. The "me" in the mirror was giving me the kind of attention i so often sought because he was ultimately validating me - in fact resembling me identically. I'd laugh at myself, make silly faces, but where i really enjoyed these moments was when i stared into the reflection of my eyes and felt a deep connection with that "self".

Maybe that's what attention gives us - a connection. Despite all these new, digital ways we can chain ourselves to people diluting our lives of interpersonal interaction, it hasn't made that desire to connect any easier or any less potent.


Anonymous said...

Hello Deity,

Great post - I really enjoyed this. I like the thought of every individual, in essence, serving as a mirror for someone else. We are so incredibly complex, especially when it comes to self-validation. I'm glad you noted that there is an explanation aside from general conclusions that you are "attention starved." Reflections should be an alternative context that all of us can relate to. Hence the connection which you speak of.

Thank you for the read.


Vesta said...

I think you are very right about this. To give our attention to someone is the greatest act of kindness and certainly when we give and we receive attention, we are connecting. In truth, my husband probably gives me more attention than I give him. We talked about this after I read this post and he tells me that he seeks attention from people to the extent that he wants to convince them of his point of view. I asked him why.

"To succeed."

Perhaps we seek from our partners the level of attention we require because when that level is attained, the relationship has succeeded.

Deity said...

For someone who so frequently takes self-portraits, i would think this would make an even more interesting point to consider. I've noted in the brief time since you've managed your site that the poses, light and composition of your self-portraits have changed. I wonder why.

You are most welcome for the read. Thank you for your kind, engaging comment.

I think it it perfectly acceptable within the realms of a man/woman couple that more attention be put on the female. After all, we all share the same Y chromosone, so it makes sense that a good amount of attention is put on the feminine/creative origins.