Sometimes when I travel away from my home turf, I like to pretend that I don't know where I am. By releasing the known I see the place differently. Small towns in Pennsylvania look much like rural communities in Oregon. Back alleys in Antigua resemble housing districts in Costa Rica. Tanzanian villages with bare earth huts remind me of some parts of Port-of-Spain in Trinidad.
But what if I really didn't know where I was? What if my surroundings were always unfamiliar, including the faces of the people interacting with me?
A man I know whose mother has Alzheimer's told me a story about his face through her eyes. "She told me I looked like her son, David. She said she'd like me to meet him sometime. In fact, she said, 'You'd like him. He's such a fine young man.'"
David had enough wits to say he'd like to meet David someday. And he told his mother, "I bet David loves you."
I'm going for the distance here. I'm striving for that sacred place where it's enough to simply give and receive: to offer love and accept the outcome. I aspire to arriving at the place where who I am in relation to the other is of no consequence. I think my mother will know me in that wondrous place.