How Little of the World Any of Us Sees

Today’s featured video explores the concept of “onism”

If you’ve been following the blog the last month or so, you will have seen a couple of videos by John Koenig. He is the creator of “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows,” a compendium of invented words to express something for which ordinary dictionaries don’t have a word.

The one I want to share today is “onism” — the awareness of how little of the world we will ever experience.

In explaining this, he says:

Imagine standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die — and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here.

That was definitely my experience when I went on that trip to Portugal and Spain in April. All those places to visit; so few are places I’ve been or will ever be. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy where I am as well as I can.

After the video, the author commented on the YouTube page:

Imagine how much more rich and satisfying it would be to have TWO bodies, not just one—so you could escape yourself for a while and live on either sides of the planet, or take a step back and see yourself whole, in full context with the rest of the world, with your face the right way around, your eyes unflattened, just as vivid as you appear to other people. It would be like those rapturous moments when one of your ears becomes unclogged and you can suddenly hear in stereo.

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