15 Minute Write
There are invisible trails of connections, circuits, a mycelium of raw emotion which link us to those who are ‘our’ people. These few people will almost certainly not be aware of each other were they to meet, and will probably never know each other. They are spread wide and far. There is nothing scientific, they do not share a particular genetic condition or makeup. Their connection is sensed, to some degree; often indirectly. They are certainly aware when one is emotionally stimulated, the collective feel the agony or ecstasy and are affected to a greater or lesser degree. They do not share moods as much as feel affected by the other's mood physically, cumulatively. There is always something shared, a totem which only each other knows.
The acuteness of these emotions can vary. Sometimes the lightest of suggestions of warmth, happiness, or sadness. At other times stabbing pain like pins in flesh or a searing happiness, a sting of pure joy.
It is not one collective single emotion. Rather, each adds to the other’s overall feeling - a happiness you feel can be tainted with a feeling of dread, sadness or anxiety that washes over someone else you are connected to. Occasionally the emotions match and a spike of elation or dread can pass through each lasting but a microsecond.
Waking, warm in bed on a cold autumn day, this is how she felt now. A sense of panic. Of fear. What was it? She saw a job that was spiralling out of control. She saw birthdays to organise, cars to MOT and things in the house breaking that required an insurmountable effort to fix. But all of these were underlined, made bold, by some greater malice. Was it death? Was it pain or suffering?
She did not explicitly know of the others, or of this thing that held her cabal together and gave it its strength. But she would be unlikely to have believed in it anyway. She was a scientist. Things were passed down from parents, from learnt gestures, followed rules, environmental conditions. How could her bodies’ chemicals be being manipulated by something outside of her control, unless it was a malfunction, a disease, missed or misfired neural connections.
She closed her eyes and there appeared a vivid scene, as if shot from a satellite. Her planet the backdrop, serene and calm, upon it these connections could be seen as vapour trails illuminated in a soft yellow colour. Perhaps a hundred or less spanning the earth. They did not move. They seemed permanent, like coastlines. And although no human eye could perceive, at this distance, anything on these lines (nor even see the lines themselves, given that to be visible from here they would need to be tens of miles wide) there were things moving upon them. These were the transports, the songlines, the emotional paths which connected these people, that transported these people’s emotion, like bands of pressure.
Could people move or collide into other bands? Surely. Especially nowadays with rapid transport, trains, planes, and cars. They could slip out of one or smash into others. This was the modern malaise: The feeling of being lost, not belonging, feeling that there should be something more obvious? Contentment, understanding, and community were lost. Having lost those who are naturally the closest and most important to us through our need to see and experience more?
Images both Penzance, Cornwall 2022. Nikon d750
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