sonder

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


a short story about about the different types of people and the way they see the world.

Submitted: January 29, 2018

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Submitted: January 29, 2018

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sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

Sitting in the car and watching the trees pass by brings a sense of calmness, like being wrapped up in a blanket that’s perpetually the perfect temperature. Imagine what lives in those trees, from the biggest bear to the tiniest cells of bacteria, and imagine what they’re doing. Nothing they experience will ever be like what you experience, and the same goes for people, too. The person sitting next to me has an entirely different perspective of being.

Sit by the window of one of the city buildings. The big skyscrapers make even the biggest of things look small. Stare down at all those people; judge what they’re doing, and what they’ve already done. Judge what they have yet to do. None of it will be in the realm of your imagination, because you aren’t them, and they aren’t you.

Sometimes, when you look at other people, you might not see experiences. You might see colors. What they mean is up to you, but those are special. They could reflect blues like an ocean and sky, or reds like a burning star, or they could reflect gentle mints and soft yellows. It all depends on the person, and no two are alike.

Not everything you see is perceived in experiences and colors, though. Sometimes you might see it all in shapes and lines. You might see it all in gorgeous abstractions of split seconds in time that fragment into snapshots of reality. Photographers see things this way. Those split seconds imprint themselves into your memory and stick there like glue. Sometimes you might forget them, but if they’re really important, they fade but never vanish.

I know someone who sees everything in color. They read words written in black and white and perceive them as prisms. Every mood, letter, number, sensation, taste, and smell has a color. The word for it is “synesthesia.”

I see in lines, shapes, and abstractions. My eyes create shots of still moments that would never be captured otherwise. If I see something beautiful and take a picture, it is alone; isolated as the only record of that place in that moment in time.

I know plenty of people who don’t see any of these. They see the world the way it looks on the surface. Bland movement and dull colors. They only watch it move, and never stop it all themselves to see anything worth seeing.

There are plenty of ways to see the world around you. No one way is any more or less valid than the other, but admittedly, some are prettier than others


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