Solipsistic Sonder

I’ve always understood my own cosmic insignificance;

As a child I thought that each subatomic particle was a world,

That Earth was just an electron in some greater atomic galaxy,

That even that galaxy was just a speck in an even higher plane,

And on and on ad infinitum.


To the younger me, there was no beginning and no end;

I’ve had too many science courses to still believe that.

Everything comes to an end in its own time,

Even if the number of years is so large as to be meaningless,

Everything goes on and on ad finitum.


Maybe God is just a wide-eyed child,

Peering at a mote of dust in the living room sunbeam,

Imagining our whole world.

Our billions of years are his mere moments,

The rise and fall of civilizations his mere half-formed musings.


He’s done this five times since lunch

So I have a bit of a hunch

You’re not so important as you think you are.

None of us are.



n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

-Definition from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows