A Common Language

There are a number of companies making glasses that correct for certain kinds of colorblindness. As a result, there are many videos out there of people seeing colors for the first time.

Go watch some.

I’ll wait.

Now if you are like most people, you’ll find yourself getting a bit sappy at their joy and wonder. Chances are, you can relate. Was it the first time you stood at the edge of the ocean? Or the moment you looked down from the airplane window?

Sailors are on the sea everyday. Loggers in the woods. Pilots in the air. This is their daily bread. But when you find yourself dwarfed be sea and sky and forest, seeing it through fresh eyes, it can knock you to the ground in awe.

After picking yourself up, sobriety returning, try to describe it to those that haven’t experienced it. You fall to simile and metaphor, or steal quality lines from cut-rate poetry.

But what if you don’t have that to fall back on. What if you just spell it out like you experienced it? You’ll probably feel like you sound crazy. You do sound crazy. But it is because you don’t have a shared language for the experience of wonder.

Later, though, you will hear someone talking crazy, and know that you have glimpsed what they have. They just got back from the sea, or the morning desert, or deep places, and are still drunk on wonder and trying to make others understand the experience.

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