If we were to lose the color in our eyes.
To omit even the smallest detail from sunlight or grass would drastically change them, would unsettle their meaning, and distort our image of them. Imagine if we left the T out of Portugal or the Z out of New Zealand. That would be like omitting light from a town like Lisbon or genuine kindness from the kiwis.
When we use these words, they're not just words: every letter, all that space between those letters, the words they appear between and near, all of these lines and space carry weight, there's a gravity within these words and our interaction with them. To shift or omit even the slightest element would be like adjusting the stars in Orion's belt.
When I write the word green, you and I can both agree on a loose definition of this word. We see something similar. But this word symbolizes a unique world of color and experience and sensation that represents who we are, that impacts how we see ourselves in the world, and how we see each other.
And who's to say that when I say green, what you see isn’t green but blue or purple. We place boundaries around the words, we call green a cool color just like blue and purple. But there's no way to know the green I see isn't the blue you see. But ultimately, the word is what keeps us in check.
Now if we were to omit a letter, a shade or a hue, a single sensation, would we still settle into the same environment? Without green, what would this place look like? How would we adjust to a world without green? Would we remain as we were, maintain our perspective, hold tight to beliefs, speak the same language, see ourselves and each other as we were? Or would our world's shift?
What if suddenly clouds were to evaporate once and for all? What if the color in our eyes were to disappear? What if the birdsong at sunrise didn't greet us? Or the taste and feel of a summer peach were to vanish? Or more simply what if a letter was left off from your loved one’s name? What if the L went missing from love or the P from hope?
If we aren't paying attention to the details, if we aren't embracing all of the words we have in our world, if we aren’t embracing all of each word, our own world begins to shift and our shared space within these worlds is something we suddenly must renegotiate, something suddenly unsettling, something we must relearn.
But also, the act of omission can be additive: white space, darkness, a loved one losing their hair, dementia, personal freedoms to nurture our babies.
To see our most treasured symbols shift shines light through a new face in the prism of our being, arouses a new fascination in what remains and what was altered, and leads to a deeper understanding of what makes the meaning within.
To omit is to call into question a symbol’s reason for being, its proximity to the source. To omit calls us to reengage, and forces us to imagine a new way of seeing things.