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Stellar Phenomena

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Bonkle

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Once something is close enough to pass through the skin, it enters the black hole in your chest that formed from the self-destructive weight of the questions that are at the end of their lives, as old as anyone has ever been, but also just as young as you. "Who am I?" "What is the meaning of life?" which invariably means, "what is the meaning of my life?" It is said to teach is to learn. How can you teach something only you will ever truly understand? With that in mind, how can you ever truly learn what you know?

 

Suppose you are trying to describe a friend to someone else. You can use the words most of us would use; loyal, kind, funny (for some of them). You could very well go far, far beyond that. But what that friend is to you is something that can never be articulated fully because no one else is you. To anyone else that friend is just another person, or perhaps their friend, not yours. Once something is a part of you, you can only be and feel it, never know it, because the black hole questions will never stop sucking you in.

 

I can describe my childhood home to you, can draw a blueprint for you. I can tell you that my room was blue and had a window looking out on the street, and right outside was the staircase that led down to the front door. I can even tell you how that scared me as a child because on nights when I couldn't get to sleep and heard things going bump I'd imagine some axe-wielding madman would kick in the door and come right up and chop me to bits first. But I can never make you understand what it was to me, what it was to live there. It's in my bones, not my head. If I break off a piece of me and give it to you, it will wither and die.

 

I could, however, tell you in no uncertain terms what the home of someone I know is. I might not remember how many chairs are around the kitchen table or what color the walls are, but I could tell you what it's like to be there, what's on the air. How it feels in that house. That place is nowhere near the event horizon.

 

This trick works for people, too, and the further they are from you the sharper the image is. I can tell you more about a stranger passing on the street from the way they walk, how they carry themselves. What they wear and how they speak, what's in their eyes. Do they grimace or just roll their eyes when they step in that puddle? When I look at my dearest friends the lens is blurry with love and years of memory. The woman opposite me in the waiting room is a neon sign.

 

We grasp and flail through our lives and anything we manage to grab ahold of is brought in close, too close, lost and kept forever. You will never stop asking who you are, but people on distant and lonely planets of their own are putting together the puzzle of you. The further from your reach they are, the bigger the piece they've got.

 

You may stumble through darkness, but know that in the telescopes of unseen strangers, in untarnished clarity, the real you burns.

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