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Apercœur

the openness of heart, particularly in embracing people’s inherent nature beyond differences.

By Mesh ToraskarPublished 4 months ago 2 min read
Top Story - November 2023
19
Author's interpretation/etymology of invented word - 'apercœur'

apercœur

/‘apəkɔr/

noun

the openness of heart, particularly in embracing people’s inherent nature beyond differences.

For eg. “Sarah's apercœur made her a beloved advocate for unity in her neighbourhood”

Combining "Aperto" from Italian (open) and "cœur" from French (heart), Apercœur reflects the openness of the heart, embracing individuals' inherent nature beyond differences. It is the quality or state of genuine, valid, and deep understanding & perception of an individual.

However, it works both ways. Apercœur also signifies a profound 'trust' in someone that allows one to reveal their authentic self, transcending surface differences and inviting them to embrace one's true nature.

*

An honest conversation

By Caleb Minear on Unsplash

It’s almost sunset and the light is fragile but it’s all I have. All the muscles of my will are holding my terror to ask her.

‘May I?’ I ask, raising my trusty 35mm film camera, never not heavy in my hand.

Amidst the rush down Portobello Road, I’m asking her if I could see her.

I spend moments peering through the viewfinder, training my lens on her as she gazes straight into the lens. And, for a moment, at that gaze, I am happy to forego my future, and postpone indefinitely, this dream in suspended fire. Her eyes steal what light remains in the sky and the pacific blue in them reaches all its superlatives, revealing trust. Trust, that I am grateful for.

It’s one thing to be looked at and another to be seen and she trusts me to see her.

I depress the shutter and her face glows as the camera gasps. Her face now on celluloid, a canvas for an honest conversation, awaiting development.

When the photo comes to life, I’m sure, if she’ll look closely, she’ll see her eyes, drunk on confession, beholding both me and the world, and the honesty resting gently on her features.

And it’s maybe then, she’ll see what I have always seen, what I will forever see - her. And it’s maybe then, she’ll realise what I mean when I say the camera always feels heavier in my hands than it should.

Seeing people is not an easy task.

***

This was originally submitted for Oneg and James' challenge after getting tagged by Mackenzie. But I failed that challenge, so thought might as well use the story that came out of it for this challenge because it's managed to stay within me. Hope that explains things to who's already read this before.

Short StoryLovesurreal poetry
19

About the Creator

Mesh Toraskar

A wannabe storyteller from London. Sometimes words spill out of me and the only way to mop the spillage is to write them down.

"If you arrive here, remember, it wasn't you - it was me, in my longing, who found you."

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (17)

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  • Rachel Deeming4 months ago

    Beautiful, lyrical writing. The camera gasping - just a great image.

  • Poppy 4 months ago

    This is marvellous. You have such a way with words Mesh and such a distinctive writer’s voice. “It’s one thing to be looked at and another to be seen” is so true and well said. I just adore your writing. Congrats on top story!

  • Brin J.4 months ago

    "And it’s maybe then, she’ll realise what I mean when I say the camera always feels heavier in my hands than it should." As someone who loves to take pictures, I feel like you captured this flawlessly. I've always enjoyed photography because I love showing people how beautiful I find them.

  • Great way to repurpose your writing. I love seeing wonderful words in use. And, yes, looking at someone is easy, but "Seeing people is not an easy task." Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Melissa Ingoldsby4 months ago

    Truly evocative

  • Tressa Rose4 months ago

    Brilliant job!

  • Mackenzie Davis4 months ago

    🎉🥳👏 TS!

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    That was a great idea. Have to admit, I thought I it was a real word at first, and was confused at what challenge. Duh. This was a brilliant idea. Congrats on the TS.

  • Alyssa Nicole4 months ago

    Wow! This is such a beautiful piece with wonderful language. Congrats on top story!

  • Congratulations on your Amazing Top Story🎉📝😉✌️

  • A beautiful story for a beautiful word. Well done, Mesh.

  • Zara Blume4 months ago

    ‘Her eyes steal what light remains in the sky and the pacific blue in them reaches all its superlatives, revealing trust. Trust, that I am grateful for.’ Well holy shit that’s beautiful. And I especially loved this micro dose of prose because I’m a photographer. Some ancient cultures believed a photograph could steal your soul. I, on the other hand, think all photographs are self portraits of the photographer, regardless of the subject. It could be another human, a pet, a wild animal, a landscape. Doesn’t matter. But when photographing another human, it becomes a bit of a collaboration. ‘Seeing people is not an easy task.’ No, it’s really not. It takes a huge amount of self-awareness, so you’re not projecting your own crap onto others, which is what we all unconsciously do until we confront our own darkness. And that’s the path every artist must take. So this could be about writing as well. Writers need to take a good look in the mirror before trying to write characters with depth. ‘Combining "Aperto" from Italian (open) and "cœur" from French (heart), Apercœur reflects the openness of the heart, embracing individuals' inherent nature beyond differences. It is the quality or state of genuine, valid, and deep understanding & perception of an individual.’ Such a lovely word and definition. It goes deeper than empathy. Because people only feel empathy for others when they perceive them as being in the same boat, or even worse off. Ever notice that? We need more apercœur in the world for sure. Even for those we perceive as better off. We need to see people beyond the superficial. Thank you for this. 🤍

  • Mackenzie Davis4 months ago

    Ohhh i see what you did! I was confused for way too long. 😅 Absolutely wonderful word, and you have to tell me how to make the etymology image! I like the edits you made, too. Feels more polished, not that the OG wasn’t… and it still is one of my favorite stories 😊💕.

  • Gosh, you have such a way with words! This was truly beautiful!

  • No, it's not. But it's worth the effort.

  • Cathy holmes7 months ago

    This is excellent, Mesh. Well done.

  • Mackenzie Davis7 months ago

    “I depress the shutter and her face glows as the camera gasps. Her face now on celluloid, a canvas for an honest conversation, awaiting development.” I want to frame these words. Remarkable. The camera gasps—this is objective correlative at its mastery. And I have no words for the beauty in that next line. On the whole, I’d say you won, lol! But yes, not entirely fair, as I am sure you spent at least 30 mins, though I suspect more on this. I don’t care though; it’s absolutely stunning. I love how the theme of being seen is taken literally and metaphorically here, the camera being the actual conduit, yet the people behind each side are the real interpreters. A subtle device, but one I feel is perfect for this story. Ugh. So good. My brain cannot bring the correct words to text to tell you how much I love this. 👏👏👏❤️❤️❤️

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