I am not sure where to begin. I almost wish I could hook my mind up to my computer and download my thoughts but
a.) That would be really weird.
b.) It is also not possible.
c.)That’s also kinda gross.
d.) Thoughts and wave patterns are too complex to capture with technology
e.) I am not fully aware of my thoughts so it would come out as cgdffgidhehqiqgwt1w (or some other equivalent.)
I’m also not sure why I just used letters instead of numbers…..weird.
So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about complexity and how I wish I had better depth perception. Like how cool it would be if I could look at a person and understand the level of their complexity instead of telling myself things like “No one understands what it’s like to be me!” and other nonsense like that. It seems to be so simple to write people off as being 1D. Like what you see is what you get because if we look at someone and see their complexities, then we’d have to address those same complexities within ourselves and accept that we can’t sum up people in mere sentences and confine them to being simple beings incapable of understanding us.
I’m also marveling at the fact that we are able to think thoughts in an infinite and complex multi-dimensional mind and command our fingers to press on buttons with little symbols as a feeble attempt to momentarily grasp a fragment of this complexity to share with others. Is that cool or what?!
And I keep on frantically trying to grasp onto bits of my mind and soul by momentarily capturing bits and pressing them into poems and blog posts and late night 2 am conversations and still I have yet to swim deep enough into the depths of my soul. And maybe I do all of this because I want to matter. I want to be remembered. I want bits of my soul to fly away and land in the hearts of others and to have people read my words and say aloud to the universe that “Yes. I understand. For a fleeting moment, one soul managed to burrow a bit of herself in the lines of a poem and I understand myself better because of it. I and bits of the world are better just because this person exists.”
And I am frustrated because I am but one. A speck of dust caught up in a whirlwind, unaware of how fast I am spinning, and being flung from one life event to the next with no control or sense of direction. I feel like I am a universe living as a human being for a little while.
I wish I had the ability to time travel. To skip about time, just as one would skip a rock across a pond. I wouldn’t change anything. I would just watch. And listen. To perceive all the little bits of humanity before they disappear forever.
A few weeks ago, I visited an antique store in my town And pushed into a corner was an old photo album. There were pictures of a little boy, playing on the banks of a beach. They were taken in the early 1920s. Almost a hundred years ago. And as I picked up the album, some old letters fell out. They were dated 1920 and 1922. The first was a letter announcing the engagement of a young woman named Ruth. There was also a picture of her and she was lovely. She must have been only 19? 20? And then I opened the second letter…it was written by an older woman who had known Ruth as a girl. It was addressed to Ruth’s husband. It said:
(roughly paraphrasing this..)
“I am so sorry to hear about the passing of our dear Ruth and I must offer my condolences. Ruth was such a lively soul, full of grace and wisdom well beyond her years. She will surely be missed. It is truly unfortunate that she will not be able to pass on her legacy and wisdom to your son. It seems so unfair that someone so great must die so young but surely God has a plan…”
And it went on and on about how beautiful and precious was the life of Ruth and I couldn’t help but cry. Everyone who ever knew and loved her is long dead and the only person alive to remember her is me. The life of Ruth spanned the bridge of time to me, in 2016 who stood in a musty store shedding tears for the long dead.
I don’t want my life to be reduced to a couple of old pictures and letters from a time long forgotten. Ruth was a complex human being who was constrained by time and hers ran out so soon. Too soon. And I don’t know why these things happen and I felt and understood the anguish of Ruth’s husband and friend as they tried to grasp onto bits of their loved one before she disappeared forever into the unforgiving vortex of time. But now, I have immortalized her. Now, from this day forward, the world will have evidence of her existence. She will not be forgotten and as long as there exists those to remember her.
So please do not let yourself be reduced to an old photo album and a couple of letters. You are a complex human being and it is okay if you have trouble grasping your complexity. Just don’t ignore the complexities of humanity as you try to fleetingly grasp onto yours. And please, remember Ruth. A lively soul like you who left this world far too soon. -Kate.