RSVP Your Humanity

Every once in awhile a particular group of peculiar people are consulted about their madness. ‘Are you happy?’, they are asked. They are then pushed to consider whether they would rather trade their emotional incontinence for some semblance of ordinary humanity, or risk perpetual suffering and aloneness.

The answer would seem obvious to a perfectly ordinary person: “Why wouldn’t the madcaps trade suffering for normality?!” But…it is precisely not that simple.

Consider the handful of people who live out their lives on this earth experiencing, in all that time, a grand total of three uninteresting colour tones. They cannot pick out flowers from the leaves of a bush, match their socks, or (in some perilous cases) tell the difference between traffic lights. They are quite the minority…but imagine for a second that they weren’t.

In the reverse scenario, those who could see only three boring tones would be the majority. Meanwhile, a minority, who watched the world grow up around them in cheerfully diverse reflections, would quickly understand that colours were not an appropriate dinner topic. In their sulky existence, matching socks would not be something to bother with, nor would the fine details in a painting or a garden…and traffic signs would be based on an entirely different system of differentiation. Still, for those few whose minds perceived more vibrant arrays of information, the world would secretly remain full of magical meaning. Things which did not matter to the eye of regularity, would be highly significant to the eye of iridescence….every flower would evoke a slightly different sensation…there would be importance in “matching”….and what could not be perceived by anyone else would be to a handful so intensely significant that they would pause involuntarily, dumb with uncommunicable relevance.

If you were, at this point, to ask that particular group of apparently peculiar people, ‘Are you happy?’, the answer would not be so simple. You might even wonder whether offering up that colorful array for normality was not so much a sign of wisdom, but rather, a sign of how incredibly stunted our understanding of human experience was. ‘Are we the mad ones for considering that for the sake of relevance, they ought to amputate their relevance?!’

Thus, every once in awhile, a particular group of peculiar people decline the invitation to regularity. But that is not surprising… After all, that is the nature of madness, is it not?

An Iridescent Cloud Over Colorado. Photo by August Allen.

An Iridescent Cloud Over Colorado. Photo by August Allen.

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