Our world is built on twigs, a little beach hut built on twigs, and it was shaken by the color of a dress yesterday, by the perceived color of a dress.
What we hold to be reality, things that we deem objective truths, that this color is blue, that that color is white, easy things that we can all agree on, came into question yesterday. Our reality, our idea of it, is build upon our flimsy perceptions of the world. Last night, we saw just what a rickety, what a fragile, foundation that is.
At first I saw the dress as white and gold, but then saw it as black and blue. Now it is all I can see and I have a hard time imagining how I saw it as white, and an even harder time understanding how that is what so many people still see when they look at the dress.
There are the internet voices mocking our interest in this dress, how this became a national topic of discussion, saying that it’s proof of the triviality of life in this year of 2015, of the inane things that we choose to focus our attention on. However, I think these commenters entirely miss the point, that this is not a small, inane thing, but instead that is actually one of the biggest things that has ever preoccupied the nation at once. People are dealing with some of the biggest questions, those concerning the nature of reality and how our idea of it is informed by something as imperfect as human perception, that some tiny cones and rods in our retinas create our conception of the world. There are worlds our eyes don’t see, that they are incapable of seeing.
It was a collective national acid trip last night as people questioned their vision and questioned what is real, what is not, and whether there is even such a thing as “real.”
It was a beautiful, beautiful moment.