2010-07-29

This Blog: A (Not So) Brief Statement

When I started this blog, I wasn't sure where it was going.  I had a vague concept of the unifying theme, which became the title.  Looking back on it, selecting 'the Lost Generation' was the strongest statement posted on this blog about who I am for close to two years.

The truth is, I am lost.  This is something I would normally write in a journal and keep private, but I think this is the place for it now.  Recently, after a typical weekend evening composed of seeing a movie and being unsatisfied with it, some mild arguing with my fiance and finally falling asleep at four in the morning, I had a small revelation.  There is only one tangible thing I can identify as having the potential to give my life meaning in a way I can understand.  That thing is writing.

Many people lose ideas, lose their belief in something, and search for it endlessly.  For me, it was witnessing the World Trade Center collapse.  Specifically, the people who jumped.  The zoom-in footage of their agonizingly long trip to the ground.  I went to New York to become an important person.  Yet I watched as thousands of important people transformed into ants being taken down by a few punk kids.  Terrorists were only powerful on that day by virtue of their willingness to commit suicide and the element of surprise.  They are not masterminds.  Just a few destructive nut jobs.  Knowledge of that alongside the image of the leveling of those buildings has been like the problem of holding two opposing ideas in one's head at the same time.  It is hard to grasp.  A riddle like this takes the mind to extreme places.  Maybe it was ordained, and America was wrong.  Maybe it was punishment.  Maybe the terrorist groups are far more powerful than we thought, and this hijack of a few planes done with handguns was part of huge international conspiracy.  No.  None of this is true.

On the day it happened, I lost my belief that I could ever matter as one person in this life.  I lost faith in the individual in the face of circumstance.  Following this, I came to see my life as doomed to utter meaninglessness.  I am an ant, existing so briefly that the eyes of a being large enough to be too big for me to see wouldn't see me, either.  The rippling effect of my actions collapsed on itself, and at best I could only envision the surface of a lake during a heavy rainstorm, with so many ripples colliding at once it was impossible to tell where each began and ended.

In the end, though, when all arguments against my own importance are exhausted, I am still here.  And truthfully, the image of the interconnecting ripples during the rain isn't so bad when I picture it now.  No, I can't make an existential concept into reality.  I can't undo what I saw.  But I can learn more, come to make better sense of it, and reconcile my own silly need to be important as being a personal desire that only I can fulfill.

Blogging is the greatest thing to come along since Radiohead.  What else could give a person like me a shot at immortality?  Truthfully, I don't want to know who reads this blog.  I don't track readers, and although I bragged when this site shot up in organic search rank one day, I hardly expected it.  It's a novelty.  The truth is, I like the fact that I'm just sending this writing out into the ether.  Somebody might read it, or maybe no one, but it's there.  And to all the next generation of writers out there, the ones like me who can't be happy when they don't write, who do it to just to feel alive, this trivial little social media outlet is the flashlight thrown to one lost helplessly in darkness.

1 comment:

  1. I heard somewhere that Emily Dickenson had exactly two of her poems ever published in her lifetime. Yet she continued to write, loathe to give up the time she devoted to her craft to the pursuit of publishers.

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