We feel, we smell, we taste, we listen, we see. We can feel the rough tree bark scraping our hands during the crisp autumn season. We can smell the scent of fresh cupcakes filling the kitchen with a sweet aroma. We can taste a cold, icy, chocolate fudge ice cream on a steaming summer day. We can hear the bass blazing from two feet away at a crowded concert at the House of Blues Boston. And we will witness some of life’s beauties, but not all of them. Sight develops minds and perspectives based off what the world shows us, with no instances of leaving out details. However, we often do not notice those details.
My eyes have a distinct round shape with long, soft, dirty blonde eyelashes trimmed around shiny pink eyelids. The whites of my eyes accent the blues and greens of the iris, with soft pink veins attacking the corners. The dark ring of teal resembles my mother’s lively eyes, with the same raindrop pattern of white and speckled blues. A ringlet of green looks as if it were drawn by God himself from the pupil, with varying lengths. The flicker of the edge of blue swirls as I talk about a new art project or the best story of my day reveals passion and spunk. My eyes scream of uniqueness, not only with color, but also perspective. From beautiful life moments to horrible disputes, I see how life varies from person to person.
The work of life shattered in front of my eyes on a New York weekend trip in June 2014. My dad and I walked the glowing streets of New York City after attending a small indie concert in Brooklyn. At the age of sixteen, I did not think I would hold my dad’s hand as much as a five-year-old. The city was bigger than my small world in Massachusetts; every thought and move consisted of not being separated from my father. While we walked, we encountered countless homeless men and women on the sidewalks. Some yelled, others remained quiet, and a few seemed harmless. But there was one shirtless, soiled man sitting between a pile of black garbage bags and small shiny hot dog cart. He looked like every other person I laid eyes on: sitting slumped against the trash bags, legs entwined with each other, and the backs of his hands effortlessly brushed the cement at his side. The man was tired and guessed to be unmotivated to take control of his life again; assuming he had a bearable life before. I asked myself, “How did he become homeless?” “Doesn’t he have a family?” “How much did he lose?” Those questions remained unanswered because I was terrified by his appearance and assumed failures.
“Sonder: (n.) The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” I understand that every person I see and do not know has his or her own life. To the cars I pass on Route One at eleven o’clock in the evening, I ask, where are you going right now? How much longer are you driving for? I have my excused reasons for driving at that time: just coming home from a friend’s house trying to make curfew. But what if those drivers are asking me the same thing? Why am I driving in North Attleboro at night? Where is my intended destination? All are assumed questions and answers I will not receive. We will not know the people we walk by on the sidewalk in the street just by a glance and stereotype.
Judgment hurts like a thin shard of glass into the flesh of one’s fingertip. Pain will come every time, even when there is already a wound present. But wounds heal; such as our minds will harden like the callus on a pricked fingertip. We are always unaware of the truth. We do not see everything. We are unable to know the struggles and invigorating life experiences every person encounters. My eyes see the world, but they do not notice all of the small details that life offers.