A Life Less Blog

July 14, 2010, 12:47 pm
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There is a tenuous thread that connects us all to life.  When that thread is severed what do we become?  Does our spirit float away on a cloud, does an echo of the energy contained within us hang around our loved ones and whisper memories of what once was?  How much of us really lingers once our body has decomposed?  I keep thinking about why I write, which is then expanded into why does ANYONE write?  There are so many reasons to write, but one of the most important reasons I can think of is to have a record of the existence of our individual thought processes when we pass on.  What is more immortal than the written word?  We are still reading Shakespeare, Plato, Darwin…these were all the great thinkers and original ideamen of years gone by.  I write to create a framework, or a blueprint of my mind that hopefully will still be here years after I have left this earth.  I write so others can read and hopefully understand what I was thinking about and wondering about and learning about while I was striving for recognition in this huge sea of people called Earth.  It is so easy to slip through the cracks in this society, so easy to become a number or a statistic.  What is originality really?  It is not productive to try to be original, trying to be original completely negates the whole concept of originality.  Writing should not be a quest to be the most original it should just happen naturally, like breathing in and out, and opening our eyes.  I think it is becoming original to be observant.  The world goes by so fast, and the time to shine seems to shrink day by day.  Is there a window for everyone to be noticed…if I died tomorrow would anyone besides my family and friends know my name?

We uncover artifacts and tools from our ancestors in archaeological digs that helps us to piece together what life must have been like for the people of Pompeii and the commoners of ancient Egypt.  I don’t think these people were going about their day thinking I am going to make this bowl of pottery so future generations of civilization will know our society was not barbaric but intelligent and skilled craftsman…no, he made the  bowl of pottery to feed his family and he probably made thousands of bowls like it throughout his lifetime.  It is interesting to me that one man’s treasure is another man’s mundane livelihood.  What if scientists are wrong about the reason pottery bowls were even made at all, what if they were very popular hats worn by certain villagers to distinguish craftsmen from bakers and homebuilders?  There are no pictures of popular ancient Egyptian fashion to draw upon that are a testament to this, but who knows.  What if those gold collars Cleopatra wears in all the movies weren’t jewelry at all, but wall art or used to pull bread out of the oven?  We could have the entirely wrong idea about ancient Egyptian civilization!  It is very easy to have a skewed outlook on things based on preconceived notions and to assign  cultures already established roles based on our realm of experience.

Back to writing; I think it is important to be clear about what it is we want to communicate about ourselves to those who will be reading about us years after we are gone.  The books, music, artifacts, tools, and surviving accessories of our culture are going to be the blueprint that others will use to piece together who we really were as a culture.  We are all searching for a way to make our mark in stone.  If we write our names in the sand, they are too easily swept away with the tide.