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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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OPINION: You are more than meaning

Photo Courtesy of Anthony Morris

It’s funny how a tapestry’s pattern is determined by the moments that precede its creation. A memory or flood of feelings that catch a creator in a terrifying plethora of possibilities. The flurry still shakes me. Where I am caught can change meaning in an instant. 

Seconds matter. The second between sinking lucidity and the smell of hot chocolate being made in front of you. A sudden warmth that holds you closer than what you thought you knew. 

Meaning changes.

A weight holds me down daily. Plummeting through the ocean in such a horrifying and entrancing way that I’m compelled to race it to the bottom. The weight is meaning.

Obligations and responsibility dance beside us. An inhumane power that was bestowed upon us like a gift. I know I’m not the only one who rejects its generosity.

The power to give life meaning.

To give words meaning. To give us meaning. 

Countless times I’ve sat across from blank canvases and felt crushed by this power. This burden. And countless times I’ve sat across from another human being and realized this same weight. Every step needs purpose. Every breath needs deliverance. I am a walking portrait and my story will unfurl throughout every word I speak. Coiling around perpetually until I become what I’ve learned to resent: meaning. 

What I’m describing is a deep learning. A lesson to corrupt a gift of nature until we have nothing left. Beginning from when we first gained consciousness to the point where we strip consciousness of its worth. A staggering distraction. A lie. That our canvas needs intention in order to be filled. That meaning is created instead of found. 

I find it everywhere. Perhaps like a child whose desperate confusion leads them to injury, I’m enraptured by meaning and attempt to replicate it. It’s not uncommon that love is the starting point of any decision we make. Even the decisions that hurt us. 

The power to look at a tree branch and appreciate its beauty – when the color of the leaves collides with the sun passing behind it – isn’t one we should fear. Or expect. 

The power to realize how our humans collide with others in the same fashion.

Beauty arrives whenever it likes to. So does meaning. It’s in our best interest to stop believing we control it, and simply enjoy it while it passes through. It’s not a job, it’s a visitor.

Even now I’m left with myself. Listening for which seconds will tell me to write. Which seconds will change meaning in a fashion that I please. An empty mug of hot chocolate no longer reminding me of times past. A warmth that no longer holds me.

In a way, my job as a creator compels me to continue to chase meaning like a wild dog. But maybe it can be a peaceful search. Observation is not a burden. Meaning is not a corruption. It’s a jigsaw piece to a puzzle that may not even exist.

Because our worth is in existence. Tree branches will sprout, grow and die regardless if you take the time to look at them. They will be beautiful even if nobody ever looks at them. 

You are more than meaning. You exist. That is why you are beautiful.

Anthony Morris is an opinion writer. Contact them at [email protected].

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