While it was, thankfully, not a destructive storm for me, the snowstorm that swept the northeast corner of the country was enough to keep me inside for two straight days – work was closed, my car was buried, and I had enough food (and whiskey and ginger ale) to last me for at least a week if need be. My partner and my roommate were both home for their spring break, so between Tuesday and Wednesday, I did not speak to a single human being for over 48 consecutive hours.
It’s a unique stasis that one encounters when all around is blowing snow and freezing temperatures, and you’re alone in your house with naught but your own thoughts for company. Sitting on my couch and looking out at the snow, I got to thinking a lot about Sonder, the concept for which our little literary endeavor is named. While sonder means “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own,” I think a part of it is also a realization that those vivid, complex lives crash together constantly, irrevocably bending and changing each other in a chaotic, prismatic display of the human emotional network. I used to think I could be happy being a hermit, living out my days in the woods or somewhere, hunting and growing my own food and going weeks without uttering a single word. But then, where would be the sonder? What color could come from my life if I didn’t have even a sliver of human contact? My life would slowly degrade into whites, blacks, and shades of gray – much like the snow whipping by my window.
So be kind to one another, support one another, for you can never tell what colors you may be adding to another person’s life. Or what spectacular palette may be passing you by.
Jeremy A. Jackson
P.S. The soundtrack for my two days was a combination of my newly-discovered musical obsession Jain; the slieu of (mostly fiction) podcasts I subscribe to, and my blissfully nerdy online Dungeons and Dragons game. Expect me to mention all of these in future blog posts. Try to contain your excitement.