Lines & Anemones

 

word by Charlotte Joyce Kidd

colour by Burkhard ller 

Every day that I leave the house I feel that I am leaving it wearing a sign (or maybe an expression? An outfit?) that says “here I am, world. Have at me.” I feel this way even though – when I do leave the house – I leave it also wearing the cozy winter coat of privilege, not to mention an actual, real winter coat. I can’t imagine how hard it must be without these things.

There are these little lines in between everyone’s lives, aren’t there? There’s this space in between everyone and it’s like we’re all just extending these tiny tendrils across it, these little, feeble gooey white groping things with suction cups on the ends, and sometimes we meet someone and we manage to say things that make sense and actually express anything that we really feel or mean, and if they do too and enough of our tendrils stick to enough of theirs, then we feel better for a bit, like someone actually knows us. But even if you do that for your whole life, your whole life with the same person (and that’s problematic, too, let’s talk about that) how many of your little limbs could you extend? How many of theirs could you touch?

I got on the streetcar after spending the night with a boy and on a cold corner I saw a couple walking by and I thought about how he would react if I suggested that we spend an entire day walking around and telling each other every single thing that passed through our minds. We could take turns, do an hour each and then switch. He’d told me in words that were decisive and made sense that we could never understand each other completely, because I’m white and he’s not and I’m a woman and he’s not. I agree. There’s something noble in the futility of trying to understand, though, isn’t there? There’s something beautiful about learning to replace understanding with empathy, about reaching out and touching the tendril even though you can’t stick to it.

Sometimes there are chasms between people. Sometimes the lines yawn. Sometimes two people have pushed enough times that their plates push further and further apart, sometimes one person has made a moat around themselves because of something that happened. Sometimes that moat is not a bad thing, sometimes it is not wrong to require someone to have very long limbs before we let them reach us. 

So we’re all alone, playing a giant game of tic tac toe, reaching out from our separate boxes with words written or spoken or felt, or with devices, these electronic arms with which we send cries into the ether and hope for ethereal responses, echoes in the chasm. And maybe some people are closer to the edges of their boxes than others. It’s all very lonely and very hopeful.*

word by Charlotte Joyce Kidd

colour by Burkhard ller 

Author: Word and Colour

words inspired by colour wordandcolour.com

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