“He who can suppress a moment’s anger may prevent a day of sorrow”
– Random Paper Wisdom –
(but the actual quote is from Tryon Edwards)
As the Dutch National Rail announced they are changing their “Dear ladies and gentlemen” into a gender-neutral “Dear travellers” I wasn’t sure what to think.
For starters, I thought it was a bit too much. Come on now, we try so hard not to be labelled and here we are creating yet another label: gender neutral. Then I reprimanded myself, because I think I should be open minded and accepting of everyone, including people who feel neither male nor female.
Then I told myself my opinion shouldn’t make me turn on myself: even if I believe I should feel differently, I am entitled to feel what I feel.
Then I just got confused.
For my Blue Sky Tag I scrolled through my Norway pictures and saw some I took of the Northern Lights. I was reminded of one of nature’s most wondrous creations and seeing those images again brought back feelings of happiness and amazement.
The Northern Lights are truly unique (I am not sure if it’s supposed to be spelled with capital letters, but this phenomenon hit me right in the soul so I reckon it’s not misplaced to give it some extra credit). Not just because it’s different every time you see it, but mainly since there is NO WAY you can show someone else what it looks like.
That green colour in the pictures? Yea, it’s in the pictures only. Fun fact: your camera will register Northern Light activity sooner than your eyes will – something to do with the way eyes and camera lenses catch light. So many times, long before your eyes will spot a strangely moving, weird-looking cloud-like thing in the sky and send an excited message to your brains: NORTHERN LIGHTS, your camera display will already show a green smudge across a dark sky:
Your eyes, however, cannot work with this colour. At the most, you’ll be able to see a green or a red glow around the “cloud” you’re staring at, but usually it’s merely a see-through kind of grey.
And even that differs per person.
So you see, there is no way to show anyone exactly what I saw when I experienced the Northern Lights in Norway. It’s different for every person on this planet. Even my co-travellers from back then probably have seen it in different ways than I did, and they were right there standing next to me!
The point is, Life, you are different for every person on this planet. Unique for every family member and close relative. Different for twins, even. Because we’ve all got our own set of eyes with which we perceive you. And there’s no camera in the World that can capture exactly our images of you.
I don’t know what gender neutrals go through, as I’ve felt female for my entirety of you, Life. And that which seems like a silly subject to me might mean the world to someone else, so who am I to judge?
You are like the Northern Lights, Life. Ever changing, ever captivating, and ever so unique. Perhaps it is impossible to show others what you look like to us, but it is not impossible to open our own eyes a bit wider and try to see you in a different (Northern?) light.