What does it mean to be human? Is a thought too complex to limit to words on a page and yet as we stroll between streets and sip coffee from cups the meaning of the word -human- is cradled in the simple beauty of who we are. It’s the way we’ve abandoned the constructs of evolution and become more than clumps of meat that eat, breed and sleep. Its emotion. Its cowering through the eyes of fear, refusing to bow before pain, but surging malice when you hold hate too near. It’s joy and love. Love of others, love of friends, love of family, love of self. Love that brings blue into the hue of a dark night and colours the setting sun pink. Its jealousy. Disappointment. Sentimentality. Its clasping on to the synthetic fur of a bear who kept you safe through sleepless nights. Its keeping a feather you found at the beach. It’s the echo of a laugh forever caught between the corners of a photograph. How a memory can immortalise a moment. How a moment is made up by the people you fill it with. Its empathy. It’s the ability to form a profound connection with a stranger on a bench. It’s when you look into your lover’s eyes and see more than just ripples of colour. Its handing Trust in an egg shelled box to another man.
It’s sharing Thought with the world. It’s “beauty is truth, truth beauty”1 and “to be or not to be”2. It’s the undeterred determination to pursue knowledge. Its creation and discovery. It’s the glowing tickle of electricity through a light bulb and splurges of colour across a canvas. It’s the meaning in the details. The broiling bubbles of grandma’s soup, the warmth plucked from your friend’s guitar, the silk of a singer’s voice or the attention in carved wood. It’s just that little bit more than everything tangible. It’s abstract and completely concrete. Sporadic and predictable.
It’s being real and profound. It’s being broken. It’s being deceived by the many masked men who fear of being true. It’s the necessity of nonnecessities; of giving in to a price tag or the words behind your back. Its falling and rising. It’s amounting to the legacy of your name; spreading the roots of your tree.
It’s that inexplicable overwhelming feeling of letting your gaze melt into the stars. Its comfort and curiosity. It’s finding solace in never knowing. It’s the desperate desire to feel the sun ooze upon your skin and the breeze calm the freckles on your nose. Its skipping stones into the water’s horizon, and sympathising with the little pebble who treads against the surface until it finally sinks. Its mortality and yet it is never finite.
Being human is just that little bit more than merely existing.
1 “Ode to a Grecian Urn”, John Keats
2 Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Author: Dione Cavadias