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The world beyond us

Posted December. 12, 2022 07:34,   

Updated December. 12, 2022 07:34


“Beyond the ear there is a sound, at the far end of sight a view, at the tips of the fingers an object—that’s where I’m going. At the tip of the pencil the line. Where a thought expires is an idea, behind the last breath of joy another joy, at the point of sword magic–that’s where I’m going. At the tip of one’s toes the leap. It’s like the story of someone who went off and didn’t return–that’s where I’m going,” from “That’s where I’m going” by Clarice Lispector.

When we look at something, there is always an end to it. The face of a round person, a faraway mountain, lines that form waves, and edges of a desk. We think of the word “beyond.” There are limitations to our senses, so if our vision is blocked, we are unable to see what is beyond us. The word “beyond” is an adverb that suggests the place where I am located, and the other place are far apart. However, due to the separation, there is a space of possibility where my senses cannot yet identify but seek to understand.

The sentence “Beyond the ear there is a sound,” though short, is moving. We hear sounds using our ears, which means that the source of the sounds exists outside us. “At the far end of sight, a view, at the tips of the fingers an object” expressively shows that an unknown world exists outside our bodies. The writer says that is where she is going. Where does she refer to when she says “that”? It may be the mind of someone, which I cannot understand. It may be after death when all my senses disappear. It may be a destination that I have never been to.

Lispector’s novels are beautiful in that they reflect love and expectations for an unknown world despite daily despairs in everyday lives. The short novel ends with: “I’m saying love. And at the edge of love, we stand.”