I see that all are carrying the weight of their own histories—an entire world riding piggy on each back. They’re all fighting their own battles, wearing their own scars, bleeding from their own wounds, pushing through their own struggles.
We’ve all got chains and walls and masks and metals. We’re all haunted by devils and ghosts and lies and losses.
I see that you and you and all of you are bent with your own heaviness, just like I’m doubled over with mine. I see humanity has seven billion different molecular codes informing their responses and reactions, comebacks, knee jerks, wisecracks—persuading the spectrum of their emotions and decisions.
I see the guy who seems whole on the outside—his features are symmetrical and his clothes are pressed just so and his teeth are advertisement white—but his soul limps half-cocked like a zombie, diseased and mostly dead.
I see the one in the dark-alley shadows who perpetuates unspeakable evil, and I look at him extra long, taking the time to trace his life backward in my imagination with the hope of understanding what happened to him. “Who hurt you?” “Who didn’t love you well?” I will always ask, and my eyes will be soft and my heart will bleed. (Vagabond come home.)
I see the girl who thinks she’s got it all figured out; she’s got answers out the wazoo and confidence in loads, but really she doesn’t have it all together, and sometimes she doesn’t even know Jack. Sometimes that girl is me.
I see the religious and nonreligious, educated and uneducated, rich, poor, young, and old. I see the preposterous, vulgar, timid, boisterous, abused, broken, numb, bloodshot, drunk, diseased, depressed, drugged, and dumb. See sinners, saints, sojourners, successes, eccentrics, bullies and bullied, straits and gays, clowns, misfits, fools, and thieves—all a mysterious mix of characteristics, a cocktail of spirit and DNA and trauma and life lessons.
Close your eyes and visualize the scope and breadth and depth of humanity.
Close your eyes and take a look through landscapes and time zones, cultures, traditions, and tribes—all seven billion of us with our own history and haunts and codes and charms.
Do you see them? Really see them for what they are—all made of stardust and an exhale of the Holy Ghost?
Are you prepared to be a kingdom anthropologist?
—Erika Morrison, from her book Bandersnatch