Intent is different than purpose and not quite the same as rationale. Intent is the catalyst that changes the potential into the kinetic. An object can be unaware of its intent, it can be inert even, but that does not mean that an intent is not buried within it.
Our cells hum with intent. Our DNA is informed by intent. It is not ours. No, it was there before we became conscious. It is part of the collective connective. It is the spark that made us grow brains instead of fins, hands instead of photoreceptors, and mouths instead of scent glands. This intent is the finger of God, pushing us.
To ask after someone's intent is to inquire into the core of their identity, to request that they show you the tiny icon pinned to their ventricle wall. This secret image
—oh, we all have this small photograph hidden in our hearts—is the impetus for life. It is the captive spark of our desire, and it is the only treasure we hoard.
But do our ribs not simultaneously protect our intent and prevent us from touching it? Is that not the greatest irony of humanity? We are both jailor and jailed. We are living cages.
Who holds the keys to our locks? Who can set us free from these cages? If we have not given our keys away, why can we not use them on our prisons?