This Guest Post is by Ali Taha. Ali was a member of Pens Around the World between 2021 and 2022.

Ali Taha

Individuals are porous. We leak. Everything we are pours out into the world as we speak and act. It’s part of our charm.

At times we find it difficult to share parts of ourselves with others, but it’s good to remember that we’re always sharing ourselves. It’s a part of facing the world each day. Nothing is really hidden, just obscured.

My question for you is, what does it mean to be porous? What does it mean, as a human, to leak? How do these ideas contribute to a character’s development in a story?


  1. Thanks for this one, Ali. It sent my imagination and memory off along several different paths. The idea of osmosis – the idea of tears or blood as leakage – the “endothelial tight junction” or blood-brain barrier – the exchange of ideas and emotions – the passing on through literature, across time and space, of something that will help another person develop; move them, inspire them, amuse them. And this poem of exchange by Adrian Mitchell:

    He breathed in air, he breathed out light.
    Charlie Parker was my delight.

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