A dictionary of obscure sorrows



Onism –n.?the awareness of how little of the world you’ll experience.

Imagine standing in front of the departure screen at an airport–strange place names flickering like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die; and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out–you are here.


Every self-aware?thinker must have come across one of the few words of John Koenig, to make him/her do a metaphorical ‘eyes-wide-and-mouth-gaping-open’ gesture of familiarity with this post. The website and its YouTube channel is a temple for all those neurotic philosophers, who, at different points in time, don’t know what to do with all the feelings they’ve got inside, and how these even originated in the first place. There might (or might not) have been a moment in someone’s life–a?spark of curiosity and utter belief in the non-occurrence of anything bad, such as death–when he/she wanted to close his/her eyes for a couple of seconds on a relatively empty road, while driving a speeding vehicle, just to see if the world would be the same when he/she re-opened them. It became a feeling, when it became a word. Yes, the French have a name for it- l`appel du vide.

The word onism describes–with a rather tragic undertone about everything that you can do but must not– that each and every one of us has the ability to do ANYTHING at any point of time. You can run headfirst into a bonfire; board any form of transportation anytime (except if you’re in prison); kiss any face in the crowd; take a walk around the city at 2 a.m– but you don’t. You are a static in this enormous world filled with natural and supernatural life-forms. Each activity of another person represents seven billion things that you’re NOT doing in this illusion of a time shared by all. An infinite number of things originating and being showcased through a single medium that we call existence, is the thing that gives you the presence of your perspective. The smallness and brevity of it.

How simple and frustrating is the sentence: I am here. And hence, not anywhere else. Which makes you think of all the times when you were having a good time and remarked to yourself, I’m glad I’m here. One of the few times when the exasperation of not being omniscient wasn’t such a bad thing.

www.thedictionaryofobscuresorrows.com is the place where one shall be reminded of oneself?as someone who is not more than a speck in the entire cosmos, as well as of a world one is carrying inside the neurones own owns. The plunge into an even deeper spiral, driving you crazy while sucking you into its vortex, is a drug to the post-midnight battles. Resonance with this neologism may remind you yet again of the similar differences you have with the very next person. Don’t know if that is a relief or not.

I hope Koenig works on giving a name to the feeling where?other people make better use of their 24 hours than you do. Maybe that’s already called ‘get to work you lazy old sloth.’

  • Sohini Saini

    Please give me a cool label that describes what I do- figure out things. Or rather, endeavors to. I am treading along the path which ends where I identify my true passion in life. Till then, it is Economics Honours, French and attempts at being a functional human in society, that takes up most of my time. EDM, berlin-artparasites and Real Madrid for life.

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