someday I will leave this world. there will be things I’ll leave behind. hopefully there will be things I am proud of, but besides that, there will just be… things. people live through their stuff, it’s our tools that make us human. it’s not just humanity that’s represented though. they become symbols, related to the action, but related to the person. a photo album from the deceased piques a kind of complete mystery, combined with a subtle reverence and awe. that is, as you hold their proof of existence, you know that their existence is no more. it’s not a conflicting emotion, though it may be one that’s hard to comprehend and process. grief is straightforward, of course, but what is grief for those who you don’t know? it’s not personal, if you can share the weight, it’s an imagined understanding. an implicit one, driven by empathy and caring, not by reason or knowledge.
and there were thousands of deaths. I’m hard pressed to process a thousand of anything. a death of one is a tragedy, so we say, and the cliché finishes while mocking statistics. a death of a thousand is still the death of one. it’s the death of one a thousand times. a thousand rifts, a thousand displacements, and hundreds of thousands affected indirectly. we who are living cannot comprehend death. all we understand is loss. the loss of life is the battering of the unknown with the knowledge of loss. so if we can imagine one, if we can imagine one out of many, if we can imagine being in another’s place, we can feel that loss. we cannot feel that death. the purpose for mourning is acknowledgment and it’s a small thing the living can do. because things aren’t the only proof of existence, because things are only tools. most of us shudder at our own death, some of us may wonder what the point of all of this is, but we’re lucky to be alive.
9.03m humanizes a statistic with identifiable proofs of existence. undeniable, warm symbols, such as a wedding ring or a teddy bear. common things with an absolute use. in reminding that the departed had something which use we intrinsically understand, we’re forced to imagine the item in use, we are forced to imagine the life they led, even if it’s just imagination, even if it’s only a nod to the departed. for the same reason we cannot understand death, many of us cannot understand great loss. our empathy is backed by little experience. I don’t know what it’s like to be rocked by a disaster. I see the symbols and imagine the possibilities and that’s all I can offer to the departed. it’s all I can offer to anyone I don’t know.
backed by adeptly performed and composed piano, if limited in scope, a calming yet melancholy blue palette, and soft models coming off as a child’s rendition of the wind waker, 9.03m is artistically stunning. all you do, however, is walk in a straight line until you greet a shade, who leaves behind a proof of existence, which you examine. there isn’t a lot to grasp, yet everyone understands loss.