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The Good Stuff
Sidewalk Cafe Observations
Emotional Centres
by B. A. Llewellyn
Length: 1357 words

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Sidewalk Café Observations - Emotional Centres

Sitting at a city sidewalk café, is an excellent way to watch the world walk by.  It is also an excellent way for an actor, writer or artist to study the personalities of scores of individuals.  A cup of hot chocolate, a rich curiosity and a leisurely attitude is all it takes to absorb and learn.

For example, here are the initial results from a thirty-minute relaxation at a favourite inner city café.  There was no need to take a book, for there were so many books of information walking all around me.

The first step in an afternoon of character analysis, is witnessing the variation on the walking techniques of each individual.  Men walk from their knees.  Women walk from their hips.  They also walk from their emotional centre. 

Born for Bigger Things

There is a man in his 30’s, looking determined and brave.  He has his arms bowed out, spaced at an almost comical distance from his body.  He is projecting a palpable need for personal space, way beyond the limits of the folk walking by him.  He emits the strong psychic odour of a man doing a job that he finds disgusting. He walks from his knees, and his stomach.

His body language makes him an easy target for instant personality analysis.  His emotional centre is obvious.  This man spends his days in wide, open spaces.  He could be a Marlboro commercial.  He is dressed appropriately for the city but he obviously from the country.  He’s not used to the congestion, or the dirt, or the over-abundance of humanity.  He’s a long way from home.   I can’t help but wonder what his walk is like when he’s back on the land ... when he’s safe.

Diminished Yang

Someone a little more complex is the man in his sixties, walking with stiffness down his entire right side.  It is a small defect but it resonates throughout his entire personality.  Why?  It could be a simple physiological concern, but all physiological concerns start in the emotions, so it’s back to the same question.  Why?

I theorise.  The right side of the body is referred to in eastern medicine as the ‘masculine’ or ‘yang’ side of the body.  Could something have happened to damage this man’s masculinity?  Has it been constricted, limited in some way?  How?  Why?  When did it happen? 

I speculate.  I daydream.  Did he work for a big, uncaring company?    Did they demand their healthy male specimens be less than men? Did they insist he say ‘ Yes’, while those muscles on his male side tightened with his unvoiced “No”?  Is his physical tension their fault?  Or maybe his unvoiced battle is with his father, or his wife!  There’s a story in his tension.  His emotional centre seems to be in his throat, but the trauma and restrictions in his throat have travelled down his right side.

Interplay of Energies

His story will have to wait.  A young waiter is now coming towards my table.  Walking from his knees … and from his crutch.  His attitude is openly displayed for all to see.  His attitude is not for me.  It is for everyone.  He is almost strutting.

A grandmother with her young granddaughter dashes in front of him, determined to hide from a disastrous day.  Grannie and grandchild have already thrown their emotional centres into the future comfort of the chairs and tables of the open-air café.  They must reach safety.  Nothing distracts them.

But the young genital-driven waiter is easily distracted.  My table has disappeared from his notice and no longer exists.  He has new prey.  He pounces on the middle-aged woman as soon as she claims her seat.  He devours her final piece of calmness by requesting her order.

One Straw Too Many

Grandma picks up the menu.  She is still wearing the shocked look of the battle-weary.  She pretends to cope, but she is not coping.  Her granddaughter picks her nose.  Grandma stares at the menu.  Time passes. 

The testosterone in the young waiter blends with his meagre patience, frothing over into an overwhelming desire to exit.  He mutters something unheard by anyone but his own frustration.  He lets his knees, and genitals, guide him somewhere more interesting than battle-weary grandmothers.

I continue to watch grandma.  She appears emotionally frozen.  Her granddaughter is hiding all cuteness inside her nostrils.  Grandma refuses to notice.  Grandma is unaware of anything but the words in front of her nose.  She has a job to do, and she’s going to do it! 

Grandma hasn’t realised her aproned inquisitor has abandoned her.  She lowers the oversized menu, to find him gone!  She looks up at empty space.  A sense of isolation and helplessness come flooding from her.  She has made her choices … and nobody cares.

Lots of Happy

Now there’s a flurry of activity on the footpath.  A flock of teenage girls are chattering and interweaving their hip-driven walks.  They are almost dancing with the excitement of being together, and being forever young.

It is difficult to tell where their attitude centres are based.  Their combined energies have so blended that their entire bodies are involved in their walk and talk.  Their giggles send waves of happiness to all the patrons of the café.  It’s possible I am the only person who notices, but everyone is still blessed with their bountiful energy.

From The Heart

There is another waiter.  He is walking from the knees, and from the heart.  His face is pocked.  Each mark shows a lesson in compassion.  He has learnt a lot.  His face is a palette of previous pain.  Yet he is handsome.  It’s something to do with the eyes.  They are loving eyes.  His eyes have accepted his fate.  He is comfortable with who he has become.  He walks from his knees, and from his heart.  He walks to the grandmother.

Grandma has had time to settle.  Grandma is smiling.  Her granddaughter has stopped picking her nose.  Grandma is promising milkshakes and cakes.  Grandma and granddaughter have stopped hating their day in the city.  They are anticipating a special treat.  They are enjoying themselves.

The young, heart-driven waiter arrives at their small table, and immediately bends those male-driven knees.  He squats, and becomes the same height as the little girl.  Grandma assumes an autocratic air.  She will be heard!

She relaxes with the realisation she is safe with this new waiter.  He seems to care about the choices she has made.  He even openly approves.  The little girl giggles and repeats the order to him.  He accepts their mutual commands with equal respect.

The waiter, in the manner of a personal butler, stands to his full height and gives Grandma a little nod.  Grandma may not know it yet, but the heart-driven waiter has just made her day.

Walk With Crown and Cape

I would like to see Grandma and grandchild walking together once the good cheer of their café visit has settled into their bones, but I’ve finished my drink and it’s time for me to display my emotional centre.  I’m aware that no one is noticing me as stand with all the dignity of my long distant training. 

“Walk like royalty, and you are royalty.”  I still remember the strength in our dancing instructor’s stance as he said those words so many years ago.  The words made an impact on me.  They still make an impact.

I changed the entire concept, of course.  We were instructed to feel the trappings of nobility upon our body.  I didn’t enjoy that thought.  I was born by the sea.  I like less clothing, not more.  Imaging myself crowned, with a rich cloak around my shoulders, was far too weighty a dream for me.  So I changed the crown and the cloak into Pure Light.  I picture sparkling white light flowing out of my head and shoulders like a fountain.  It makes me feel buoyant and graceful.  My husband says I float.

So I float out of the sidewalk café.  No one realises I am leaving.  No one notices.  No one cares.  No one can see where I keep my emotional centre.

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Third Eye

By B. A. Llewellyn


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