What We Augment

Glancing over the railing she looks up as she reasons,

“You remember it’s not a sunny day today?”

Pulling me in she points before adding, “Do you see the sun covered behind those clouds?”

She squeals as light peeks out of the ocean’s canopy

as she tells me it’s not a good time to play outside.

I’ve graduated to the five and under table.

Im now cool enough to overhear

without interfering.

Even in moments like this addressed directly.

Observers congregate in social gatherings,

stimulated and overstimulated being the dog whistles that admit you.

You can enter,

because you see.

Rather, you’re looking.

He didn’t mean anything,

he just didn’t know.

Wasn’t sure what he was observing,

wondering why he felt so curious.

There’s a way that we can look without taking in, seeing to the point of staring at a void.

Like how we hear children in cages

and think we need to know more before we can place our feelings.

Like how we videotape violence and it goes viral.

Like how we need body cameras to disillusion us of easily replicated deception.

Like how amnesia runs deep in us.

Our history is heavy if we’ve been holding it,

not fully covered by the most panorama cloud.

Leaking into our awareness,

deepening the tenor of our squealing.

Logically revealing weight fullness in the form of sound fullness.

Our adult eyes can see right past what they’re looking at, led from childhood to distrust their eyes.

Taught that reality is bigger than what they can now understand,

framed as if what is understood in childhood isn’t an understanding one grows with.

Taught that seeing is about breadth,

interpreting that literally as ‘all at once’.

My body needs breaks from the all at once speed of other adults.

Especially in moments where we’re talking about childhood,

even when we don’t mean mine.

The sound fullness is the dog whistle I listen for, and I wonder when you will listen to hear.

I wonder how to translate my fatigue,

and my boundaries,

my nurturing and intention with words.

My silence feels like padding,

and I conjure an amusement ride from earlier today.

The image of an unbothered toddler observing herself relaxed

as the ground moved lower from her lifting feet.

The noticing of a body realizing what makes them feel calmer.

The observed comfort with the twirl and hum.

The want of the realness in its less augmented versions.

Like the weather from one morning to the next.

In the detection of rain anticipated.

In the arrival of that rain later today.

In the same unbothered body greeted by

what might comfort her.

What she sensed had comforted me

as she observed what she knew was real.

It’s not only curiosity that develops knowledge,

it’s our need for calm being met

as long enough moments.

Long enough to observe.

As tired as I feel,

I breathe in my calm and my companion who witnessed what we both felt

as our feet raised,

as the clouds darkened,

and finally as the raindrops pushed past the canopy,

and met us at home.

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Writer. Thinker. Facilitator. Advocate. Invested in accountability for power based violence, creative initiatives, and meaningful, nuanced dialoguing.

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Amanda Lindamood

Writer. Thinker. Facilitator. Advocate. Invested in accountability for power based violence, creative initiatives, and meaningful, nuanced dialoguing.