If you’re reading this, you were born.
You came into the world as the product of two; screaming, curling fingers and toes, not knowing what comes next, the only moment of true emotion, devoid of anything but what you’re feeling as un-curated flesh. In that moment, you were human, both as far away and as close to your maker as you’ll ever be.
From that moment on, you were being molded by those who came before you. You were shaped by those who had that same stunning moment years before. They curated you as those who came before them curated them, and so on until you go back to Adam. They might mold you based on what they are – carefully convinced that they can pass their favorable qualities onto you effortlessly – or they could try to form you based on what they aren’t, letting those traits they’ve envied the most in life come to the forefront of their interactionary face.
There is nothing more – and nothing less – to life than this. Until the day you head back into the earth, you will forever be clawing and get clawed at by those around you, the idea in your head of what life is will shout louder still than anything you say or do. You were destined for this, from the first words you hear till the last words you speak.
What is that idea for you? What is it within you that proclaims itself as you more than your words? Once you have it, know it, and understand what you’ve tried to give to the world, ask yourself one question:
Did you help?
In your adult human life, you will feel very many things. You will feel anger, resentment, fury, love, happiness, grief, arousal, and disappointment. You will then feel what no living person can describe, which is how it feels to die.
But what of those times that you feel none of those things? For as colorful as life is, there is an equal amount of dullness. Every summer, coming with its vibrant greens and warm heat, gives way to the death of autumn and the bleak, cold, winter.
I find myself feeling nothing, the weight of my soaring indifference a seeming contradiction to the expression of others and their bright facades of real emotion. But I know that they, like me, feel as much nothing as I do.
But is feeling nothing less impactful than feeling something? Is not the winter equally as punishing and nurturing as the summer? Does the death of autumn not enable the life of spring? We must feel nothing, for the burden of feeling is heavy, and to always feel is to be weighted down, pulled into the dread of forever, no rest, no rest.
The feeling of nothing is not just a place absent of emotion, but rather the end of the emotional scale. The complete opposite end of the scale is what it must feel like to die.
When attempting to capture the situation of the world today, and to gain perspective from people that are not you, you find yourself wondering “if I only knew”.
I’m a straight white male living in America, what could I possibly know about those who are different? What insight do I have into the life of women, of foreigners, of vagabonds and parents and children and those who have no insight into themselves to begin with? Introspection is a luxury for the comfortable.
This site, however, is not for me to display what I know of the others, or of living a life apart from my own, or what I’ve learned. This site – and all of what we are – is to appreciate that we are here, we are now, and we are alive. What makes you happy? What brings others joy? Why does that one person do things the way they do? It just seems odd. Yet we are all bound by hearts that beat blood, lungs that breathe air, and feet that tread the same earth.
So let’s share. Let’s read and laugh and cry and solidify the bonds that were forced onto us weakly through the experience of living. Let’s stop and think about being alive in the 21st century and all the conveniences and struggles within.
Let’s turn “If I only knew” into “I’m closer to understanding”.