It is a funny thing. How the only thing that matters, doesn’t matter. Or better, its place among priorities is subjective.
Ultimately. At least to us humans. It is all the stories we tell. Not authored ourselves. You are the only soul that ever gets to read the full autobiography. The matter seems to come in the stories that are told of us. About some soul. Infamous or the other type. It doesn’t have to be a good thing in order to matter. It just needs to echo.
That may very well be all life is. Stories. A story. Tales told of what was done- or what life dies, somewhere in time. Drunk and alone. But even that becomes a story.
Fret not, I know what I say. Aware that saying life doesn’t matter could drive some to madness. But do not mistake preciousness for something other than personal. In a cold and indifferent universe, all of our love and hate and television sitcoms don’t matter. Semantics, I know. But you get what you pay for, you cheap bastards.
That being said-
I find life to be precious. That does not make it so nor does it make it the perspective of all. We likely wouldn’t kill each other if that were the case. We don’t approach life with much objectivity. We weigh lives in merits against each other all the time. In official, formal type settings and those more clandestine. But every day, all over the world, folks choose some lives greater than others. Which is grand for the idea of tall tales and such and such. But scientifically, all life is the same accident. And likely worth fuck all percentage wise to the rest of existence.
I’m totally hoping it’s not. I hope that life is much more. I just don’t think it a good idea to automatically assume it is.
Yet us humans, we dig on life. Hard. Madly, quite often. And we thrive on stories. True, fiction, or both. With the core of the history of civilization occurring primarily in the last category. Something I thought more folks were aware of. But as I watch the world, it is clear it may be a bit misunderstood in a good many different ways.
But if all of our teachings, religions, governments, relationships, commerce engagements and anything else one would at least vaguely use to guide a life were boiled down to a singular core principle, it would be this. Me thinks:
Live a good life.
Now basing an entire existence off something so vague may seem like catastrophe. And it probably is. But I have found our greatest divide arise from specifics. What it is to be good? What is required? Some say you must kill. Some say, you must be killed. All die and some do more living before then. There are tales of all sorts, of those who did some grand goodness, even if in truth it be dark and bloody. And these stories inspire, or at least influence, for they are given a single perspective. And until the collective third eye opens upon the all of humanity (fingers crossed for that being soon)- a singular perspective is all we get.
It’s all I’ve got. Assumptions be made by me and my sympathy, but I only see from me. Attempts can and will be made to place myself in the shoes of others. But all hypothetical. I do alright with it though. I can often find a way to relate to all sorts of folks. I used to be an actor, after all.
But everyone is the protagonist. And that does not mean the hero. Not all stories are told that way. Villains tell tales. Anti-heros. Cowards. Losers. Monsters. All you need to be is the point of view. And that is, all we are.
So, we are given some templates to work with, and then we go off to find our own. Lots of us, at first, are not given options. Just when and where you managed to join existence. Religions are often provided for someone. Family, tribal type business, and not void of all merit. Family itself is the poetry behind our instinctual drive. Then we are told tales of those in our proximity in history. Founding fathers, fearless leaders, war heroes and martyrs. Tyrants and zealots too. Even bits of literature and art are handed down, but often doesn’t settle in effectively until found on one’s own.
Could be why I don’t like Cather in the Rye. I get it. I do. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.
But after being filled on circumstantial backgrounds, we then seek out stories on our own. Adventures and such. Things stumbled across, or an interest that led to another. A passion. A chance. A long away glance. A photograph, if you’re lucky enough to hold one in your hand. We find the things that inspire, often through other people but now, through those people we choose. Through a moment that appeals enough to be memory. And if we’re talking making stories, we must include the old dichotomy of storytelling. Both just a matter of the timing tuning in-
Ascending or descending.
A story of things getting better, or things falling apart. All growing and flowing parts of some bigger, often times untold tale. And not to confuse it with more modern word meaning, both kinds of tale can be funny. It just depends on your sense of humor.
So, what shall it be? If it doesn’t matter, that only makes us free. Any past can be left behind, depending on the lengths one is willing to go. But I shall certainly not damn anyone who is sticking to a bit of a path. It is your choice. My choice. Our choice. And perhaps that is just the fortune I’ve been able to find. I would not say it is anything overwhelming, but my road has certainly given me a morality I now stand upon. Moments that become included a legend of my own.
Yet, I do not choose to wipe the past from history. My own or otherwise. And I go about this rock, wondering if what I do shall make some grand tale. Or just a simple story, told by a few. Wondering if the way I see, might be like how you do. And never truly knowing. As I can never know if Napoleon, Shaka Zulu or a beautiful, young woman to whom I give space in my mind are seen the way they had hoped to be seen.
As I can only guess what others may see of me. Or believe the words they say. Which only works well if you can see their eyes.