Thursday, June 14, 2012


I like the idea of greeting and parting with the words, "I see you." This is something I've always said to my pets over the years when they would try to get my attention or if they were proud of something they were doing. I wanted them to know I was here and reassure them that I was tuned into them. Not that they always knew exactly what I was saying but they seemed pleased when I said it anyway.

Then when Avatar came out several years ago I couldn't help but notice this was the greeting they used. Seeing that got me thinking about the broader meaning. Isn't that what we all want; to be seen, really seen and acknowledged? 

This is even more true for me now that I have an invisible illness. Being seen and acknowledged is what I hope you all have in your life.

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  1. This is the greeting the Indowy use in the "Legacy of the Aldenata" universe. (Which far predates "Avatar," not that I think they stole it.) Since the Indowy are, in their trillions, the slaves of a very cruel race called the Darhel, their whole lives are a struggle for dignity. The Darhel won't use it: when the Indowy encounter humans, who will, it very literally demonstrates the difference between us (and why the Indowy are on our side.)

    There was also an episode of the "Twilight Zone" remake series where the ultimate social sanction was to be made "invisible." (This actually consisted of a very prominent marking on people who had been so sanctioned. No one would speak to or acknowledge in any way a person who had been so marked.) The protagonist of the episode, a military-grade a-hole, thought that having everyone ignore him would be awesome, but then he found out what it was like... At the end of the show, he has become empathetic, and after his sentence is lifted and he encounters another invisible person who is half-mad with isolation, he takes her by the shoulders and says, "I see you."

  2. Having a chronic or invisible illness makes you more aware of your mortality. I think this is what makes us want to be seen (and heard).