Starey Starey Eyes

Deb: This is something I've wanted to blog about for a while now. Staring. Ever

Close-up of a young woman looking at a green cherry

since I was a kid I’ve been a big starer. I have always called it my “staring thing” and I can remember saying with some urgency “don’t wreck it!” whenever someone caught me in the throes of my stare.

When we were young, my brother would delight in wrecking my staring things and I would curse him round the bend for it. And as soon as he realized how much I loved a good “stare” he made it his life’s work to ruin it for me. Then I would desperately try to blankly fix my eyes again ... to no avail. The spell was broken. I realized early on that the staring thing controlled me, not the other way around.

When I was researching “staring thing” and “stare” and “fixed stare” online to give it a proper clinical name for this post, the answers scared the stare right out of me. MAN ALIVE, was it panic-inducing! From mini-strokes to mental disorder, it was enough to make me run to the safe haven of the Anthropologie website! As a result, got a really cute pair of booties (cream and brown with contrasting laces). But I digress.

So try though I might, I just can’t seem to find an official name for that thing we all do, that stare of solace, that fixed fixation. But I do know this. I love my staring thing and, as God as my witness, I am actually staring right now as I type. I guess it was just enough to mention it and my brain said “stare!”.

As I get older, my staring time increases. I use an electric thumper for my bad neck and shoulders and I now find that I stare the entire time I am thumping (said the actress to the bishop!). Someone left a comment on our blog a while ago about the thinking process and she mentioned that experts tell us that at no time are we thinking absolutely nothing. I would tend to agree, but for the deft skill of my friend, “Staring Thing”. I can stare and think nothing for minutes on end. Nothing. Nada. Not a thought. And I love it.

I feel that Starey is my pal. Starey slows me down and gives me a break from frantic thought. So, despite the internet warnings about what it could possibly be, I have decided exactly what it is––my buddy. I know that they say this is something all humans do at one time or another, so I would be curious to hear from any among you who don’t have the starey experience. 

And btw, if you ever catch me fixed and staring, I would ask just one thing of you. DON’T WRECK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barbara: Well, let me weigh in first. I envy you!!!!!!! Oh, for a blank stare, a “stare of solace”, a “fixed fixation”, as you so deftly put it. I do the stare-thing, which is different in nature from “starey thing”, which sounds sweet and soulful and free. No, the stare-thing is a sidelong look at the sky, wide-eyed, intent, yearning, behind which is a veritable hamster-wheel of whirring, solving, dissecting, unraveling, despairing. It is my genie-in-a-bottle. It is my go-to when I need to thinkthinkthink.

But after so many decades of whirring brain, I want desperately to find a peaceful OUT. A blank stare. Deb, it sounds so like meditation to me, this thing you do. It IS a gift. A very precious one. I, for one, would never dream of wrecking it.

The Middle Ages      Two Friends--different ages, different husbands, different opinions


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