Suddenly he remarked, “A clock is chiming.”
I was taken aback by his comment until it registered that a clock was indeed chiming, that I could hear it still chiming, and that the clock was on the mantelpiece in the next room in my apartment. It was that perfectly normal phenomenon of no longer being conscious of hearing something that I have grown accustomed to hearing every fifteen minutes for years.
Once I began to describe the mantle clock, I realized that FaceTime would make it very easy to show what I was attempting to make familiar to someone who had never seen the clock. I would not have to worry about what my words, what I chose to mention and what I presumed must be obvious by my calling this a mantle clock, might fail to make clear.
Sometimes you just have to see something if you’re going to make headway in knowing it.
Next week I get to meet someone with whose writings I have been familiar since 2005. One blogger to another, he and I have read what words we have each chosen to describe the tenor of everyday life and eventually a significant transition in each of our lives. Over time our communication moved into other media, phone calls and text messages and Facebook.
It seemed time for us to sit across a table from one another, order barbecue and beer, and watch how the other fits in a chair and surveys a room and makes his points and names his dreams.
Sometimes you just have to see someone if you’re going to make headway in knowing him.