Tuesday, January 6, 2015

To be Invisible

I’ve been waiting for this moment for years, and it has finally arrived...
I’m finally taking a class where we get to read Plato’s Republic!!! It was a moment of accomplishment for me when I spied it on my Philosophy book list, but things have gone downhill since.
I don’t really think I much agree with Plato, but the question of the ring of invisibility did intrigued me.  

There are times when I feel like I’ve melted into a puddle of self-pity, inviting others to step on me. There are times when I wish those judging eyes wouldn’t watch me so. There are times when a ring of invisibility is just what I need.
And it is during these times that I quietly slip on the battered ring which resides in my pocket, and disappear.
I sit close and stare at the bird in the midst of his carefree dance, feeling simultaneously intrusive and harmless. His plumage is of colors unseen, and his movements are of a fluidity us worrying humans will never feel. Here, in the loud but peaceful floor of the Amazon rainforest, I am glad that I can see him, but he can’t see me.
To visit places unseen, and to travel alone and unknown.
Then I’m in the narrow gaps between the strangers in the nameless, lifeless crowd of commuters on a Monday morning. I watch them: each wrapped in their own little bubble and worrying over their own worries, but also painfully aware of the hundreds around them. I see their insecurities through their transparent walls, and look away. The feeling of another pair of eyes, even invisible ones, must only hurt them more.
I return to sit under a tree in a suburban park - nature dotted with humans in their weekend-selves. Through my back, I feel the throbbing life of the tree behind me, and I sit unmoving for fear of losing this connection. I laugh aloud in my head when I think of what a sight I would have been if people could see me.
I listen to my footsteps echo at the local mall, imagining the many feet that must have returned again and again to these floors in the daylight- searching for something that cannot be bought.

When I finally pull the ring off, it is in fear of going silent. Invisibility is a freedom from society and all its restraints, but while it sets your body free, it locks your voice in a cage. Visibility is the high price we pay to have a noticeable opinion.
So while my flights of fancy with the Ring of Invisibility are perfect in every way, they are impermanent because I wouldn’t give up my voice and opinion for anything.

Tell me what you would do if you found the Ring of Invisibility :)