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  • Writer's pictureMatt Pipes


A Whole New Meaning to Catching Feelings

A Chorus Line featuring the Renaissance Theater Cast in Mansfield Ohio - Photo shot by Jason Ogg
Production of A Chorus Line (playing Zach, center) -  Photo by Jason Ogg

There may be something you don’t know. You may call it differently, but I’ve come to discover many of them in my travels. These are beings that stick close to living energy. They’re sprites only in size, their looks vary but are mostly just about as big as your toothbrush. Some are spiky but soft, some are round but roll like a cube, and some look like flowers but smell like a dance belt after an eight-hour rehearsal cleaning a single number.

They’re everywhere, but don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t seen one, very few have in this world. These sprite-like beings tend to attach themselves to human beings, and the moment you become aware of their attachment they will either shift or run away without a trace. There are towns and cities with great quantities of them. Some human beings have many, some could have less. But you are always experiencing an attachment to one at every second. You might call these beings “Feelings” I wonder if I would call them differently.

Now I don’t have proof of my knowing of these beings. I don’t have photos, so you might not believe me when I tell you that I’ve seen a few, I understand entirely, but I figured I’d try to explain anyway.

I noticed my first one on a beach in South Carolina, they move so quickly so I only caught a glimpse. My father was in the ocean and he had these very expensive prescription sunglasses with him, I knew because he had just broken a pair before our trip and was angry about spending so much money on a replacement. With new sunnies boldly atop his head hiding the sun from his gray and fading hair a large wave made him stumble a bit. Only barely collecting himself a larger wave folded this similarly large man under its wave. When he came up from the water I could see him turning around himself several times reaching his hands into the water with a worried expression on his face. I heard him yell “fucking christ!” That’s when I noticed what was missing from the picture. His new sunglasses had been swallowed by the ocean. I turned to look for his sunnies too, I was in much shallower waters by the shore, so I figured it could have been pushed toward me.

I saw it in the water briefly, It looked like a snake. That was my first thought, but then I noticed its hands, what looked like human hands jutting out of a bright pink body. It didn’t seem to be using them much, only as if it had them in its collection, vanity, as opposed to practical. I quickly swiped away at it, but before I could even reach my hands into the water it had vanished. I wondered if I hadn’t seen it, it could have grabbed a hold of me and dragged me against the ocean floor holding me in its grasp for as long as it pleased.

The second time I had caught a “Feeling” was on my way to ballet class which started at 8:00 am. I exited my dorm room which was located in the financial district of NYC on the 24th floor of a 30 or so floored building. The elevator was open so I dashed to catch it because if you missed it you would probably be waiting for a long while for the next one. It was already closing and there was no way I was going to make it so I yelled out “Wait, hold it!” A tiny and polished bright red shoe poked out at the very bottom of the closing elevator doors. Thinking about it now I’m surprised the sensor picked up the mini obstruction at all, but even so, the elevator doors were now opening again. There was no one inside, and the source of these tiny red shoes was nowhere to be found either.

While searching, the elevator doors opened on a different floor to a beautiful girl. She had blonde wavy hair that reached to her shoulder blades, she was wearing her glasses which she usually wore when going to class. She was fit and toned, she was a dancer in the commercial dance department of my school, and she was my crush. It brought a whole new meaning to catching feelings.

She and I were together for a time and the feelings were felt but never seen in the span of our relationship. I started noticing these “Feelings” more when I began intently looking for them. I started seeing more and more of these “Feelings” when I realized actors were spiritual mediums. Meditation helped, seeking helped me to find them, and I started noticing all these ironically fallible, elusive, and attached beings. Some you could accept, some played its role like a parasite. Some you could ask gently to let go of its hold on you, and some cursed you for some time, appearing in dreams or during coffee with a friend. Yet they were there, I could now see them with more and more practice.

Even more ironic is when I discovered this power of mine seemed to be hindering me more than anything. As an actor, I wanted to communicate with them as much as I could, yet, all the same, they were just as elusive. The minute I think I’ve found the perfect “Feeling” as a character, it shifts and changes shape, forcing me to find a new “Feeling”. I seek out the same emotion but it’s changed entirely or has disappeared completely. I’ve begun to wonder if this power has been a blessing or a curse. Or maybe I’m just using it wrong.

Just because you can see something doesn’t necessarily mean it wishes to be seen. And so now my emotions tend to be far more elusive to me in everyday life. I can see them, but just as quickly they’ll escape me. Many feelings don’t tend to form an attachment to me simply because I notice them. I suppose that can also be a good thing, but there are times when I miss feeling as much as I used to. Times when I cried without trying to stop myself from doing so. Crying openly to release, not to show. Times like in that elevator when I mustered up the courage, not without great fear, to ask if she’d like to hang out sometime. The feeling of fire welling up into my cheeks when she said with a touch of excitement, “Sure, I would love to.”

It’s become a knee-jerk reaction to find the solution to my feelings rather than simply allowing them to pass. I guess I question the natural order of things. These seem to be living beings as well, am I hurting the natural habitat of these “Feelings” because I’ve gained this insight, am I hurting them because my ego can’t rescind control? I get scared sometimes that eventually, I’ll simply feel nothing.

Yet maybe there’s a reason for this power that I haven’t found yet, maybe it’s the curse of a particular responsibility to something. It’s not that I have answers, but maybe describing this could help in some way. We’re all affected in one way or another by them, just because you might not be able to see them, I’ve learned talking about them can also make them shift, change, and sometimes disappear. I wonder if doing the same can help us to communicate with them even better. There’s a sense that we lost the ability to notice the presence of these beings long ago, and it’s in our natural order to regain consciousness of them to live presently alongside “Feelings”. There’s still so much I don’t know about these beings, but I hope to live alongside them with fantastic openness.

I still notice them running around more and more, I suppose they stay in my vision for longer periods than they did before. So I guess I can’t say I’m not growing in some way. If I lived life simply observing them, I wonder if one day I could see them long enough for them to have a small chat with me. I wonder what they would have to say.

Much love today and every day,

Matt Piper 🐅🌱

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