One of the things I love about being married is exchanging those “knowing glances” with my husband. They occur when, say, one of our kids has just declared with great conviction that he/she is going to do something we doubt they will actually follow through on. All we have to do is look at each other to know we are both thinking exactly the same thing.
To be fair, though, there are times I exchange knowing glances with my kids when their father is, say, missing the point. We do it with our coworkers when our bosses are being unreasonable and with our friends when someone says something funny and with our siblings when our parents are driving us nuts.
We artists and creatives do this too. Have you ever sat in the back of a room listening to a singer who hits a note so perfect that you glance at a total stranger and smile, and he/she smiles back? You both heard it at exactly the same time, and you both reveled in it. There may be people in the room who didn’t recognize it, and that’s okay. It only takes one other person to create a bond.
In those really special moments, though, when the art is especially powerful, we turn one way and then the other seeking out those sympathetic eyes and finding them all around us, and the energy in the room begins to swell. Those are the events you remember all your life.
It works the other way too, you might be sitting in your writers critique group when someone points out a plot twist so unlikely it will never work. While the author is insisting it will, the other members are glancing at each other knowing full well it won’t and wondering who will be the one to say so. Those knowing glances give us confidence and courage.
We humans are adept at so many forms of communication. We forget that sometimes. We rely too often on our words. But it’s often through those knowing glances that we find the people with whom we are meant to connect.
If you are not experiencing this phenomena, maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you have found your true tribe. If not, you may need to seek out a new circle of friends. It’ll only take a glance to recognize them.