We long for things that never happened and hope for things that never will; we cannot pinpoint these things since they never had names, either. This negative space is, emotionally, the place where we find ourselves more real than ever, within that very longing.
When this happens early in life, we suspect that we are different than the rest, and the result is self-isolation. When we love, we ought to believe that the loved ones are in the same way different and, for a while, we extend and expand to reach something that we call happiness, but it’s the same longing in a party dress. If we are looking for answers in religion, we might start to believe that we have lived before and what we feel and seem to remember ourselves feeling are memories of those past lives. Soon, we realize that time is matter changing to disintegrate, and we might reckon that what we feel and seem to remember ourselves feeling might also be memories of our lives to come. If we are naturally generous and kind or genuinely wish that we were this way, then our conclusion might be that we are everybody that ever lived, will ever live, and live in the now around us. Embracing this thought might prove restrictive, for the details/differences are always more easily translatable into action than the essence we suppose we have in common. Therefore, we remain isolated in a negative space that defines us and becomes, during our lifetime, as large as an inhabitable island to us. No man is an island seems to prove itself wrong.
Still, the longing is always there, and the need to express it goes beyond our power or fear, reasoning or cynicism. It’s what we all do, in a large number of ways, for all of our lives. It’s what defines us, ultimately, as human beings, and many see it as a mark of the soul.
What you can see here is an attempt on mapping my island – or, if you prefer, a close look at the human soul, starting with mine – by capturing this longing under some of its fleeting aspects. The project goes on the Journal.