Writing Inspired By:

Word from John Koenig’s Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

Inspired By Another Writer

After reading one of Christopher Robin’s article, “The Entanglement of Fates”, I was off to binge watching one after another of John Koenig’s “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” videos.

https://medium.com/age-of-empathy/the-entanglement-of-fates-bf2e7de3fa2


I began watching a series of John Koenig’s “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” videos.

The Minutes turned into hours. When several hours had passed, I paused, so I could return later. I will schedule time for the next binge watching and pace myself, then right after the watching session create a Writing Inspired By article. Thank you, John Koenig, for creating the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” and the accompanying videos.

Here’s a link to the videos, I also found additional one with more searching. enjoy!

Here also is a link to his website “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”


The one video that I stopped on was Opia: The Ambiguous Intensity of Eye Contact.

This one fascinated me because of the many observation I made during the COVID-19 pandemic of people who are wearing masks.

I have learned to see more of people’s feeling and demeanor in their eye. Saying something that causes people to laugh and only being able to see them smile by looking at their eyes. The girl in the above appears to be happy for one, and I think maybe a small smile is behind that mask.

Sometimes I will mention something that causes people to crack a smile that I can see even with the mask on. Most people appreciate and are happy that I took the time and effort.

I hope that this changes the rest of their and day and brightens their disposition.

Thank you both Christopher Robin, and John Koenig for sharing your thoughts.

You both brought me a ray of light today.


Opia: The Ambiguous Intensity of Eye Contact

Below are both the video and the transcript of John speaking.

What do you think about John’s Word Opia and the explanation below?


TRANSCRIPT Opia. So much can be said in a glance. Such ambiguous intensity, both invasive and vulnerable — glittering black, bottomless and opaque. The eye is a keyhole, through which the world pours in and a world spills out. And for a few seconds, you can peek through into a vault, that contains everything they are. But whether the eyes are the windows of the soul or the doors of perception, it doesn’t matter: you’re still standing on the outside of the house. Eye contact isn’t really contact at all. It’s only ever a glance, a near miss, that you can only feel as it slips past you. There’s so much we keep in the back room. We offer up a sample of who we are, of what we think people want us to be. But so rarely do we stop to look inside, and let our eyes adjust, and see what’s really there. Because you too are peering out from behind your own door. You put yourself out there, trying to decide how much of the world to let in. It’s all too easy for others to size you up, and carry on their way. They can see you more clearly than you ever could. And yours is the only vault you can’t see into, that you can’t size up in an instant. So we’re all just exchanging glances, trying to tell each other who we are, trying to catch a glimpse of ourselves, feeling around in the darkness.

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