Do you know what it feels like?
Let me tell you.
It’s like opening your eyes each morning, but instead of lying in bed under a dusty blanket with your head on a worn-down pillow, you’re strapped into a seat surrounded by a control panel.
Only there aren’t any buttons.
Just a confusing jumble of words which blink and beep around you in no particular order.
You take a stab and select a sequence.
At first nothing happens, but then a light in the cabin flickers on and the engines rumble to life. There’s a spark, and suddenly the rocket is being launched. It cuts through the air as a thick smoke is released all around you.
Except that this great cloud of steam and smoke that spreads further and further out isn’t what it seems; it’s composed of tiny particle sized words which churn through the air in a thick choking cloud.
You soar upwards through the clouds and out passed the atmosphere.
Things are more coherent up here.
When you reach the cold dark depths of space, you pause to look back at that beautiful blue orb suspended in the vast darkness, and it suddenly looks clearer than you’ve ever seen it. The swirling clouds are a tapestry of sentences. Every continent is a layer upon layer of paragraphs. Each crashing wave in that jewel ocean looks like a ripple from up here as swarms of words travel along their unseen currents.
You drift further and further away from the world.
All of those problems which consume it now seem so insignificant.
Every empire that rose and fell throughout history, every song played, every line written, every brushstroke painted, every word ever spoken is contained within that turquoise marble.
And you’ve never felt more connected to it than in that moment.
Somehow being so far away made you feel that much closer.
You can feel every tear that was ever shed spill down your cheek, while every laugh rolls up from deep within you. Crushing heartbreak mingles with a euphoric happiness. Poisonous jealousy merges with sweet empathy. Hunger and greed and love and generosity all exist within one another.
It’s all in the words that you read; the ones which hold the world together.
They’re what connect us, like the bond between atoms.
Your rocket travels further and further away as you type away on the control panel, which has become much less confusing as you grow familiar with its layout. Gradually the Earth is nothing more and nothing less than the pale blue dot which ends this sentence.
I chase after this feeling every day of my life, and I’ll probably continue to chase it until the day I die.
It’s as much a part of me as the molecules that form my very being.
Every word that I write is in pursuit of this connection; this powerful bond between me and everyone else.
Writing connects us.
It makes us feel that we’re not alone.
And it solidifies into an irrefutable fact that, as human beings, what we have in common is far greater than any differences that exist between us.
That’s what it feels like.