Witnesses to our lives

In the film Shall We Dance (2004), Beverly Clark (played by Susan Sarandon) says that people marry not because of love, but because they need a witness to their lives. She says that with marriage, “you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.’”

Belonging is a little bit like that – having witnesses to the moments of your life, the small and the big – and then belonging is a little bit more. Belonging is feeling like you’re being woven into the tapestry of something important. You are a part of a beautiful design and you matter. This could be with a place, a community, a family, a person or yourself.

Who are the witnesses to your life? Is it the friend, family or partner you tell every single unfiltered thought to? Is it the desk that has seen you conquer challenge after challenge? Is it the repository of photos that capture your favourite moments? Is it the journal where you craft sentences from words to express your feelings?

What do these witnesses say about all the times you have belonged, with others, or simply with yourself? What do they say about all the times you felt like you didn’t?

This year’s Anthology calls on you to tell us what belonging is to you. We can’t wait to hear your interpretation of the theme.

Happy writing!

Submit your work here.

Words by Urvi Agrawal