Amanda's View: Living history

By Amanda Knox

My sister Deanna observes that Oma and I answer the phone with the same drawn-out and sing-song-y, “Hallooo!” We entertain ourselves in similar ways, dancing whether we have a partner or not, singing aloud whether we know the lyrics or not, sans embarrassment. We both read books voraciously, nurture children and animals compulsively, call people for no other reason than to say hello, or, in Oma’s words, “just checking to make sure that you’re still alive.” Both of us harbor deep, difficult-to-articulate hurt. Difficult to articulate because of how entrenched and visceral it feels, but also because the trauma is hard for many people to relate to. You know the uncomfortable pressure of witnessing or listening to another person’s suffering that leaves you feeling inadequate, hollow, defeated. It’s an isolating experience for everyone, teller and listener. All the more reason why it means so much to have someone you can call up who can comfortably listen. For me, that’s Oma.

“Hallooo!”

“Hallooo, Amanda! You won’t believe what Ole found for me.”

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Amanda's View: Reality is better

By Amanda Knox

Reality is better, certainly. At the end of the day, reality is what’s left when all enhanced realities are put away. It used to be easier to tell the difference—art, film, music, playstations—all of these enhanced realities were limited in their means and scope such that they could distract from, inform, communicate with, but not substitute for reality. Now technology has advanced and has become so integral to our personal and social lives that the line between enhanced reality and reality reality is blurred. Devices have become real extensions of our physical body in the virtual reality we’ve created for ourselves. Now there’s Pokemon Go.

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Amanda's View: Oasis as counterbalance, or vise versa

By Amanda Knox

Oasis. The word conjures sunlight, water, trees, the sensation of sinking into soft, white sand. Relief. Delight. I think of weightlessness, of the release of strain that comes not from the relief of burdens, but from their perfect counterbalance.

Take dancing, for example. In West Coast Swing class, I’m instructed to strive for the push and the stretch. My hands linked with my partner’s, we maintain a firm yet flexible frame to push into and stretch out from, following to the momentum of the particular dance phrase. In a push—sugar push, they say—we step into the space between us, compacting, but not collapsing, our frame. Our biceps and rhomboids tense, and like positively charged magnets, we bounce away from each other before we bonk noses.

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