I haven’t been writing much lately, and what little I have is drivel. That’s how you can tell my life is just fine; I only write well when I’m depressed, lonely or otherwise melancholic. The good days are so enjoyable that I’m too busy soaking it all in to write things down. One hundred years from now, my great grandchildren will read my blog and decide that I was, in fact, a terribly morose person.
Not that today’s mood would challenge that assumption. I’m feeling low, but for reasons that are damnably elusive. I’m sure I could pull out the divining rod and unearth specifics, but my feelings are frustratingly unfocused–wonderful when you’re bathing in the golden blur of happiness, miserable when you’re being suffocated by the blanket of depression.
I read once somewhere that we read to know we’re not alone. I think that applies to writing as well, only perhaps flipped on it’s head. We write hoping that we’re not alone. For all I know, I could be writing about something to which no one can relate. Maybe no one else in the world preaches with funny accents about fresh fruit. Maybe not one other soul in the world cares so deeply about the ceiling. It’s a gamble.
Think of all the great writers who only gained the title “great” posthumously. In their day, they were probably considered by their family and friends, and maybe even themselves, to be a flop. Emily Dickinson only had seven poems out of seventeen hundred published during her life, and those were most likely published without her permission. She wrote in great faith, or else because she had to. Maybe she was the sculptor who saw the statue in the marble and carved to set it free.
My life, like my writing, feels of little consequence. This is the hard lesson of time: you are not as important as you think you are. Don’t take me wrong, I make small, frequent contributions to the world. There are people that love me and care about me. But what will the world think of me when I shuffle off this mortal coil? Is there room in tomorrow’s recollection for me? Or will I simply be one tiny ink spot of hundreds that make up a photo in a history text book? Just a zero or one in the great collective knowledge base?