Revisiting a new word
At around age 15, sitting on a train, I understood that if I died at that moment the train would not stop. Busses would still run and airplanes would still fly and the people in this transport would go about their daily lives as if nothing had happened. In fact, almost nothing in the world would change. My leaving would be noticed only by the people who knew me.
This understanding was intriguing. I don’t remember feeling grief but at age 14 you think you will live forever.
Sometimes I wondered about other things like;
What if I was the only real person on earth and everyone else was a prop for my life? They were all fake.
What if the entire world was here and everyone who travelled overseas and came back told invented stories, about the rest-of-the-world, which didn’t exist?
What if I was not real? I was a fake person, a prop in the lives of other people.
At other times I felt panic at the thought of all the lives being lived and all the stories that could be told and wondering who had been given the task of knowing them all.
But, I’ve always been a people watcher – wondering what was behind the 2 minutes I saw of someone’s life, so when I stumbled over the word sonder - I liked it.
n. the realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
Definition shared from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows - a website and YouTube channel, created by John Koenig, that defines neologisms for emotions that do not have a descriptive term. The dictionary includes verbal entries on the website with paragraph-length descriptions and videos on YouTube for individual entries).
Definition Related: I heard about a book called 'Historia transversal de Floreal Menendez, which apparently means something life - Cross-sectional history of Floreal Menendez, by Leo Masliah - who is a musician.
I can only find the book in Spanish, but have been told it follows a chain of people who tough the lives of each other briefly. I have a feeling that I've seen a short film on the same subject that was not in English but I can't find any reference to it ... seems like I'm the only person who's every seen it.
What I'm talking about is not like the movies 'Crash' (2003) or 'A Long Way Down' (2014), about several people who all meet up at the end. No, this is a chain that follows the contact, not the person, and touches on the surface of several live - the camera follows me as I walk down the road and pass a boy, then the camera follows the boy, to his home, where he stops to talk to a neighbour and then the camera follows that man and what he is doing. He waves at a girl cycling by and the camera follows the girl. That is a simplified person.
This animated movie called Sonder, is something different.