Unexplained Emotions: Sonder

Sonder 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.

From the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Bokeh Night lights Sonder
Image Credit: Pixabay

Self centeredness is what I have identified with for almost as long as I remember. I have always felt that I am the center of the Universe, the point from which everything radiates. My perceptions have been important to me; my experiences very unique. As a young person, I felt as diiferent from others as could be.

Popular culture only reinforces this notion of ‘uniqueness’. The modern society puts a premium on being strong, independent, initiative taking, visionary, chasing ones goals to the exclusion of everything else. And so it has been for me.

My own self has been centre stage even in a public place, in crowded shops, in places where the throng of humanity presses you to the other, so that all you become is a mass. Even at those times, I felt that I was the centre of my universe.

I like to observe people, in places of worship especially, wondering what is it that brings them there. What joys they thank for, which sorrows they want assauged. I imagine that a temple is a place where people seek something. Only for a very few is it a matter of routine. Most come with prayers in their hearts and as they bow their heads, eyes closed, lips moving, I try to think of their lives and their stories.

But something has changed in the recent past. I see this mass of humanity, separate them out in my mind, each person different, living a life parallel to my own, different yet like mine.

And as time goes by, I see myself more and more in others, in the people I meet and in the people I am aware of. It is easier for me to imagine myself in their stories, how their lives unfold, their little joys and sorrows, the misery and the euphoria, the struggles, the wins and the craziness.

Gone is the concept of me as a different or a unique individual. I wonder what is it that makes me just me? Are my struggles not reflective of many others? Aren’t my joys widespread?

I wonder whether our stories are really that different. Are there not patterns to our lives, our aches and joys?

If you look around you with compassion, I feel that you can see that all our lives, the individuals are like a labyrinth, mazes that they navigate and that sometimes intersect.

I find myself as simply a point, of light perhaps, as opposed to the feeling that I am the center of the universe. Everything came to me and everything flowed from me. I am not the centre. I am the diffused light that suffuses everything and everyone.

This post is part of #MyFriendAlexa, an initiative by Blogchatter. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

On Writing

Ever since I started blogging, there are a few questions that I ask myself periodically. 

Why am I here? Who am I? Why do I blog? 

I am here in search of beauty. I am here to carve out sentences and memories from words and impressions. When I see a bend in the road, or think back to the desolate man by the road side, and remember the colours of the ice cream cones I once had; I want to turn them into tactile and sensual experiences so that I do not ever lose sight of them. 

I write because I also want to forget. I write to get rid of the demons, of the impressions and the words I have gathered in my mind for a long long time. 

I put them down on paper, color them and sometimes even embellish them. I live those experiences again, this time slowly and deeply, feeling all that I missed in the rush of that moment. It is like picking up a favourite book again. I turn the pages of that book, run my fingers on the spine, thinking back of times gone by. Between the pages I stumble upon words and scenes I had lived before and I delight in them anew. When I write, it is like reading the book of life again; I go through it again to lay the memories to rest – having lived them fully and now only to be visited when I want to. 

I have lived an ordinary life. But it is the awareness of bringing in my viewpoint to all that has happened or is happening that prompts me to take up my pen or stylus. 

I wtite / blog for a validation. That validation is from my self, for the ability to put down in words, my impressions, my dreams and my aspirations. The turn of the tide, the silence of the reflected moon in the still waters of the lake, the whisper of the fronds; they are all a part of me. The immeasurably deep valley and the deceptively shallow brook, the curve of the grassy knoll and the trees as tall as the neck can crane are what fill my mind. 

I write for self expression. I write because I have to ‘be’. I write for my creativity to manifest itself as words. I write in order that I be a writer. 

And I want to write with a method to the madness of putting words on paper. I want to write of those who have walked with me on my journeys. I want to write of the bits and pieces that make up the whole me. I want to write and be consumed by the worlds I create; I want to write of the longing that my soul has never felt. I want to touch the despair of misery and the crest of happiness. I want to write, create and then live that world. I want to escape in that make believe world for a moment. I want to step into others’ stories feeling that I am part of the whole. I want to feel being a part of the mankind. I want to find the similarities and the differences between myself and others. 

I want to write for meditation and spirituality. I want to reach out and understand the universality of the human experience. I do hope and pray that my reasons for writing change over time but my pace does not. 

I do this exercise time and again: of asking myself why is it that I write. What I say each time surprises my rational self and the changing replies assure me that I am growing. 

Please share your reasons for writing and blogging. Let’s start a conversation.