How to Look at Goosebumps

(Photo copyright JulieAnn Talisayon 2018.)

A whisper in the ear; brisk winter morning walks to work; the contrast of a hot shower to a cold apartment; the resonating notes of nails on a chalkboard ringing through your ears and down your spine. A spectacle of the senses, and a result of their existence. Thinly veiled under the skin, our invisible hairs now stood at attention. This reminds us that we each are sensitive.

Light speckles, like raised freckles – the way a deer might lift its tail to the movement of its surroundings.

Even the individual whose skin is inked, pierced, and scarred will fill with shy little blemishes. When nervous, when afraid, when loved, uncomfortable, cold, when being quietly spoken to. We attribute our little bumps to both the negative and positive effects that life has on our being. And is it not amusing how something so near to microscopic can posses such multiplicity in meaning? To think we dare to disregard the minute details of a supposedly mundane life as irrelevant. If goosebumps can mean frigid, freshly showered, recently caressed, told in secret, hearing noises in the dark, or maybe even skydiving, then meaning perhaps ought to be derived not of any particularities, but simply out of being here.

They look like the surface of Planet Spaceball. Small intricate communities of domes. Funny bumps. Backwards dimples, stippling the skin as any pointillism painting might be. Each of us is delicately adorned with these little paint drops; these constellations. These are the porous concaves on what appears to be a solid covering for our bodies. We are designed to be flawed. There are smalls holes in everything we are. Interesting that these little dents in our lives seem to expand themselves as a consequence of sensation. Interesting that from the time we are born, our forms are able to put on this lightshow, like a non-verbal shout that “yes I can feel”. But why do our vessels need to display themselves as so aware?

It is in every fiber of our being to be sensitive to our location. Even the surface of our skin reacts to our environment. Even the surface of our skin reacts to the things which we elect to ignore. How do we curate meaning within a life that has been gutted of the small goosebumps of our existence? The seemingly insignificant, the perhaps mildly flawed, tiny bits and pieces. Tiny bits and pieces, nonetheless, remind us that we each are sensitive – that we each are human.



Works Cited

Brooks, Mel. Spaceballs. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). 1987.

Elkins, James. How to Use Your Eyes. Routledge. 2000.