Descartes said cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I am. Philip K Dick said reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. Lewis Carroll said ’twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe. My point is people can say stuff, but that doesn’t make it true. So now I’m going to say some stuff.
And so maybe you’ve fallen, and you didn’t always try to climb because sometimes you were just too tuckered out by the slide, and now even when you can keep the juggling going and even when you’re climbing, you still can’t quite remember what the path looked like, what it felt like to be up there on the contour, and you know that you have to keep it up if you want to be there again, but you take two steps and you slide back and you take another two and there’s another slide and it all just feels a bit too much, a bit too hard.
We can fall into stories, place ourselves in their situations, live through the plot and consider the themes. We can find our minds changed, our moods altered and ourselves uplifted, better at being human because of the stories we read, or see, or are told by people we love. The power of a good story should not be underestimated.
We are each of us here temporarily: there’s a start point that we can’t remember, and an end point sometime hopefully fairly far off. The time in between is the part worth worrying about: if we can live well and help other people to do the same, I’d call that a good use of the time available to us. All things must change, and eventually the shadow I cast in the minds of the people I know will fade away in the light of their new experiences. That’s the way it should be, I think: no one of us is more important than the rest, except to each other.
If you come off the rails and crash with that great flywheel humming away inside of you, full of restless energy and everything you’ve been absorbing and not dealing with, all of that momentum that has nowhere else to go, the whole thing might just drag its way out, tearing you up as it crashes through you, and spin off to cause chaos while all you can do is watch.
The many worlds hypothesis says that there are as many universes as there are ways things could have gone, all intersecting with our world and unreachable. But each of our lives is like that too, each of the things that have happened all still happening to us at once, reachable by a turn of thought or the smell of a flower. We live our stories continuously, and not just in sequence but in parallel and intermeshed experience. It’s a wonder we manage to get anything done.
There’s no part of your world that won’t be better if you have the emotional reserves to face it down, tame it and make it your own, and if I can help you along the way with that, what possible reason could I have not to?
When you’re close to them, suns are beautiful, and you can bathe in their warmth. At that sort of distance, though, they literally bend space and time.
When they’re far away, stars are still beautiful, but in a different way, colder and less intimate. They can be just the same for people in other places, too.
It must be terribly sad to leave the warmth of your own sun and watch it turn into just another star.
These were written between 2013 and 2020