Observing pensiveness is, I imagine, a lot like looking for something you've never seen. The Loch-Ness monster, bigfoot, size 80 lederhosen, the Loch-Ness monster's lederhosen. For me, the list stops there. Seeing as how I haven't found anything I haven't seen, I'm not really capable of drawing from personal experience. Qualifications aside, I can point to a term called the “known unknown.” It means something we know that we don't know. Pensiveness exists; we have a word for it. A real word, not some made-up, Carrolian word of which I am, admittedly, fond. It is etymologically old, and probably French or something. Anyway, we know it exists, but we lack proof. You can't see it. You yourself have (maybe) been pensive before, but the moment you look in a mirror, the pensiveness is gone. You can see it on other people's faces, theoretically, but identifying it is like locating something small in something large. Or something smaller in something small. Was that pensiveness that smothered his face, and swallowed his expression? Was it constipation? Was it the sun in his eyes? Was it even a real face? What IS a face anyway? *Ahem*
I was going to rail against modern society, and the lack of emphasis placed on thought. That plan disintegrated the moment I began to pensate on it. I spent no less than 12 minutes this morning being pensive about various...varieties of breakfast cereal. I feel like that's not even abnormal for my average day, but specific examples elude me. Suffice it to say, I think subject is irrelevant. Depth is important, and eyebrows probably play a part. Also, depth of eyebrows are probably metaphysically related, Mr. Cromagnon. Sorry, eyebrow.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that pensiveness exists as long was we believe it does. It is very much like faeries in that respect. I mean, I guess that's what I'm saying. I'm not afraid of admitting it. Faeries are something I'm often pensive about. Anyway, proving its existence is impossible, but dismissing it as nonexistent is akin to admitting that you spend your life flitting from one topic to another without giving any of them consideration. *CouFACEBOOKgh*. Oops. No scathing social analysis. My bad. Really, that's more like Twitter anyway. Then again, I have seen expressions which I have interpreted as pensive on a fellow homosapien's face while was, indeed refreshing his Facebook profile for the 8th time in as many seconds. Deep in thought. While I'm spitballing here, I may as well point out that he may not have been paying any attention at all to his profile, and perhaps was, in fact, contemplating his fingers, or choice of long-sleeved clothing. Who knows? Who knows, indeed. Think about it.
It occurs to me that the definition, while implied, is not explicit, and perhaps, not obvious. To be pensive is to be deeply engaged in serious thought. Which, I suppose, introduces another variable. What serious thought constitutes for one person is probably brushed past by another. Breakfast cereal, for example. How often do you let your mental processes linger on its many facets? Gleaming gems are there to be discovered, if you only take the time to brush off the dirt. Or, in this case, sugar-coating. Granted, I'm hard pressed to actually identify any of said gems at the moment, but something must have captivated me and my attention for all that time. I'm getting off-topic again; I guess that means I'm done. Exit question and challenge: What makes you pensive? If the answer is nothing, try to think more, dummy.