Zia Hassan

The Point

Most days, he wakes up smiling at me through the bars of his crib. Then, he looks around the room, as if he’s seeing it for the first time, his heart full of wonder and his world overflowing with possibility.

He points at me, and then one by one at all of the other important things in the room. He makes little noises each time he points, which sound aesthetically like “What’s that? And that? And that?”

We have names and functions for these things, I tell him. The clock gives us an illusion of certainty, the paintings are windows to other worlds, the closet contains a spectrum of presentation.

But then he will point again at the same object. And that’s when I realize he’s not asking me, he’s showing me. It’s as if he’s saying “Look! It’s beautiful! I’ve never seen anything like it!” and I am answering by naming something that is, to him, eternally nameless.

And so he teaches me: pointing at objects is it. The whole thing. The… well, the “point.”

Curiosity by way of observation.

I have so much to learn.