I wanted to explore shapeless things today…Shape is subjective, to a point. For some substances, shape is determined by containment or confinement, for others, it’s an act of physics. And there’s metaphysical shapelessness, as well. In any case, here’s my list.
(I should note: I’m feeling oddly abstract today. If I were an artist, I’d be doing Pollack-esque splatter painting.)
- Water. I could list any fluid, of course, but the reality is that the shapelessness of fluids is due to water content, so if you take water away, shape exists.
- Thoughts. Shapeless, formless, free-flowing. Thoughts have no shape. Ideas have rudimentary shape.
- Dreams. Like conscious thoughts, dreams exist only in transitory moments, taking up temporary habitation, filling all space, and no space. Usually at once.
- Colors. One could argue that colors do have a shape because they’re made of light waves, but for the moment, let’s ignore physics, shall we?
- Emotions. Can a thing that has a color still have no shape? Because some emotions are vibrantly hued, while others are soft pastels.
- Straight lines. Shape requires three dimensions.
- The Senses. We taste, see, smell, hear, and touch things that have shape, form, and substance but we do this by utilizing those which have none.
- Truth. Lies are angular things, but truth is pure and therefore has no shape of its own.
- Breath. Whether in hitches or sighs, in invisible puffs or frosty huffs, breath has no shape. Our mouths form it to our needs.
- Clay. Malleable, damp, earthy, it has no natural shape, taking on the contours of the negative spaces left by objects, both natural and manufactured.
- Sand. Individual grains have shape, but collectively sand has none.
- Faith. Faith comes in many forms – spiritual, personal, emotional – but it has no true shape.
- Space. Douglas Adams reminded us that “Space is big. Bigger than big.” Can anything so large as to be literally immeasurable have any kind of shape that is discernible?