I had a martial arts teacher say when I started karate, “You can look at me. That’s why I’m here.”
She was modeling our kata, showing us, all of us who knew nothing about what we were doing, how to do the martial form.
She was permitting us to see. She was requiring it.
I wrote in the last post that I’ve been reading about painful things lately. It’s hard to read about pain.
A lot of trauma, therefore, is unseen. A lot of pain goes un-witnessed. But I know that a lot of people go unseen, too.
There may be good reason for not seeing. I have trained myself to look in side glances rather than directly. I have been trained “not to stare.”
Who wants to offend? There is a way in which we learn not to look at one another, even when we are there to be seen. Even when that’s why we’re there.
So much so that it’s the noticing that becomes shocking, the witnessing that becomes jolting.
May God and all our teachers teach us how to look.