The Place Where We All Meet
“I walk over the marsh saying I am I: and must follow that furrow, not copy another. That is the only justification for my writing, living.” – Virginia Woolf
I'm listening to Gareth Dickson. Phoebe Bridgers is queued up. There's something about the light of the early morning. I need soft music with it.
For my whole life I've lived with a sense of some unknown chasm in me. I could feel it playing in the woods. Feel it making music. Feel it listening to the silent sounds at sunrise and sunset. Feel the same in writing and books and the warmth that passes with someone you love.
The chasm speaks to me out of the blue. Sometimes in totally inappropriate places.
A few weeks ago I was walking back to my house from the post office. Minding my own business. A group of people were walking in the opposite direction. I saw this college girl with dark hair and green eyes. Out of all the people, she locked eyes with me.
To 'not be rude,' I've assimilated the action of looking away when someone makes eye contact with you in public. So I did that. But she was still looking at me, I knew it. Out of bravery I looked back. I held the eye contact with her.
Something passed. I felt that unlimited chasm. I felt her unlimited chasm. And I felt both of our unlimited chasms recognizing each other's. Time seemed to stretch. Something in me let go. I walked across the pavement saying I am I, you are you, and here we are, together. How uncommon. To actually be with someone. A stranger nonetheless.
The interaction lasted five seconds. It seemed to be more like 10 minutes.
I have a theory that we all have these moments. Some of us fold under the weight of them, ashamed of something in ourselves. Some of us meet the moment with will. Some of us live our lives totally blind that anything that deep could exist. Still it wails.
I hear it in music. I hear it in books. I hear it when I'm alone. I hear it when I'm with my partner sometimes. And sometimes it's not there. Sometimes I'm blind.
And yet still, it echoes, like a felled tree in an empty wood.