Do We Treat Someone Like Neon?


neon signs contain noble gases hoping to float free into space


This haiku is why I find that creative writing becomes a channel for me to synthesize a lot of subconscious thoughts into a few words. Transforming abstract concepts into a visual flash.


Neon signs draw the eye to a business. They are an accessory. A concentrated flash of color dependent on the noble gas neon that it contains to be attractive, enticing. In the absence of neon gas and electricity then a neon sign does not draw attention.


I imagine that others who read this haiku will find their own meaning. It was only after I wrote it from the prompt word “neon” on Twitter that I began seeing three different concepts that I’ve kept stored in my subconscious. That is another idea I wish to express through this haiku. That creative ideas we have need to be shared through our exploration and play with sound, visuals, or writing instead of just locked safely in our own minds. It is indeed a bit scary to release a creative idea into a broader space. People may misunderstand or criticize our idea. But perhaps that creative idea is like neon gas? It wants to be free to float and find a new space to occupy. Many creative ideas are meant to be shared as part of their cycle.


When we treat another human as an accessory or to bring attention/garner respect/get clout/rise in prominence, then we are assuming the role of that neon sign, one that traps noble gas to function. This sign is fragile manufactured glass yet powerful in its ability to contain/confine gas.


A loving couple’s relationship needs to be founded on equals. A couple needs to treat each other as equals. Sharing in decision making and letting each pursue their interests with some degree of support from the other person.


A parent/guardian and a child relationship is nuanced. I’m not saying children are equals in responsibility or decision making but that they need to be viewed as being wholly unto themselves. It’s a trap when we view our children as extensions of ourselves. The adult has a responsibility to the child to help them discover themselves and grow until that child is ready to assume more responsibility. Any parent or guardian can slide into thinking “they know what’s best” for a child and exert too much force of ego in decisions. I’ve noticed moments when I do this with my two sons who are now adults. It takes being aware and being able to listen to your children.


This haiku let me express an idea on systemic racism. We celebrate jazz and blues as shining traditions of the United States that originated with the Black communities. Our culture often captures the bright colors of Black culture and uses it like an accessory. Dance, music, movies, et cetera. What happens if we stop this confinement through ending measures of systemic racism? When a culture is confined for a long time then how does it change once it is treated more equitably?


Globally we could do better too. During the recent Paris environmental talks nations invited Indigenous people from around the world to attend BUT did not permit them to speak at key conferences? https://www.npr.org/2021/11/09/1053656078/young-indigenous-activists-united-in-climate-cause-at-cop26-summit


Can we envision releasing those who are trapped in our confinement/controlling actions/words and let them be free to float and move according to their own nature? Can we move closer to this idea in our intimate relationships? In our communities? That is my enduring hope. That is why I write because putting these thoughts to words lets me share joy with others.

My color inverted photo of tree bark closeup

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