What is the definition of emotions? Not simply the explanation of meaning found in the dictionary, but the figurative lines that define them in our lives. For me these boundaries blur. Can you clearly show me the differences? I pose these questions to myself, as a writer who seeks to enhance his skill, to progress. But I also ask as an individual, who in the observation of others becomes increasingly aware of himself.
In youth, we learn to define the reactions of others. To study the physical manifestation of emotions on other faces until we master their meaning. Happiness found in the sound of laughter is as clear as the sadness shown in another’s silence.
Our daily lives are filled with these reactions and observations of them, yet I am more interested in understanding the counter-reactions. The twist of a stomach when seeing a couple share an embrace, or the swell of the chest when a stranger gives out a compliment. These emotion-filled moments have the potential to change the entire outlook of a day, yet in reflection, I struggle to find an explanation why.
The voice rang out clearly, every head turning to try and find the source. You yourself turn as well. There at the end of the plaza is Sarah, but only for a moment. In the next she is moving; a rush of curly hair and sing-sing laughter. Now, with this approaching wave what do you do?
Do you recall the memory of when you first met? Two young students, one confident the other shy. Both enjoying being in a fresh world, both leaving families at a picnic to explore the hillside. Remember the happiness of grabbing her hand to help her climb up to the top. Cast aside the embarrassment of slipping yourself and tumbling down.
Do you imagine the future? Asking her to dance, smiling for a picture that would be pinned on a wall. The elation if she said yes, the terrible disappointment if she said no.
And so you react, catching her in your arms, holding her in a tight embrace. You spin together, a planet hit by a cosmic projectile, doing its best to adjust to the new orbit, having gained a moon.
You blush, and counter-react by laughing.
“What as that for?” You ask.
Sarah laughs, gasping for air, “Because I knew you could catch me.”
The moment ends, and those around the plaza return their attention elsewhere. Yet as you walk on, you notice the counter-reaction on everyone’s face.
One of the first pieces I ever discovered of PascalCampion was almost a perfect depiction of a memory from college. Titled, “That one time” this artwork does a better job of describing my emotions that day than any words ever could.