“n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.” (Courtesy of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)
Like this instagram, I’ll keep it simple (or heartrendingly complex?).
I was sitting in the Denver airpot, messing with my ipod; covertly resting it on my knee, I had pressed the capture button. As I kept staring at the photo that appeared on the screen, I realized I was their coffee sipper. I was their blur of traffic, their lighted window at dusk. Those people in my periphery– I was their periphery. In a mere moment the faces in this photo grew starkly independent from me, and I loved humanity. It had not been the first time, nor will it be the last, that Sonder possessed my heart and wrenched it from the familiar, the narcissistic.
And I find I can no longer walk a crowded street without imagining elaborate passageways.