Have you had this experience: you walk on a flat surface, like a side walk, and you step on something small and hard, like a stone. The moment you feel this hard thing under your foot you buckle in a reflex, like you don’t want to get hurt. In my own experience it is not something that always happen, it happens mainly when you don’t expect to feel anything under your foot. Trough the wonders of the internet I learned that they (I guess some people call it that) call it nociceptive flexion reflex or more formal: withdrawal reflex.
Because I use this experience in a poem, based on a picture where you see a little stone on a wooden floor, you can assume that this nociceptive flexion reflex also happens when we react to a sudden disturbance in our social life, in an otherwise smooth day.
The most recognizable example that I can come up with is is the anger outburst after you’ve been patient for hours or day’s when, for example, someone is asking you for something over and over. You’ve been cool and understandable but suddenly they come around the corner, while you are occupied with something else, and you hear a sound coming out of their mouth and you flip, like you stepped on the little stone.
You probably do not “flip out” willingly, at least that is the excuse you use when the dust has settled again, but you are probably right. The interesting question, following from this example is: what other reactions or thoughts in our daily, social live are triggered by small objects we step on.
The poem that inspired me today is from Day 1145.