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Banbury Cross

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Post details: Journey to the Center of a Mind

Journey to the Center of a Mind

Meeting new people, especially those of the opposite sex, often feels like being jettisoned into the middle of a lush rainforest.

At first, your sensory defense lines are overwhelmed with the flood of information. You recognize the basic environment, but you barely have time to register its bibulous vegetation, the valance of palm trees or the rampant foliage incessantly bidding for sunshine. You catch a scintilla of sky bashfully drizzling through the overarching canopy, but you are too busy just trying not to trip up against the serpentine roots.

And then there is the question of safety always simmering on the back burner of your processing noggin. In a jungle, you can never be too careful. Even human minds, however civilized, can host a number of venomous reptiles, predators, parasites, leeches, even piranhas. So you gingerly walk around, subconsciously scanning the shrubs for any slinking shadows, while watching for that tip-off shudder of sprawling ferns.

After a while, as it is becoming clear that nothing nasty is going to bite you, you grow more comfortable with this neck of the woods and start noticing its peculiarities. The trees endemic to the forest. The idiosyncratic traits which make us unique and special. Personal gestures, the tone of laughter, the tilt of the head. And you also realize that the original cacophony of animal sounds was but an intricate mesh of calls and signals and you start distinguishing the individual voices. The instruments in the pastoral symphony of survival.

Swinging on lianas of conversation, dodging prickly thorns of faux pas, you venture deeper and deeper into the forest's understory. Here and there, you may need to climb a tree. Occasionally you sink knee-deep in the mud. You pause to catch a glimpse of a parrot. Smell the fragrance of a blooming Candle Bush. And whether you find a wild orchid at the end or a disgruntled spider is largely of no consequence for the journey itself is well worth a few scratches.

So this is roughly what you are up against as you sip your favorite tea with a long-haired blonde creature, whom you never saw before and who were born in a completely different country. And you look into her sea-colored eyes and all you see is the jungle of neurons firing wildly in their synaptic cacophony.

forest

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