I wonder how 2020 will be looked upon one hundred years from now. I imagine it will be mostly forgotten and a bore to study. How many of us new before the current pandemic that 1918 was the year of the Spanish Flu? That it shared the stage with World War I? I imagine I’m not the only person who would have though it a bore to pick up a book on that period of time. I hope the collective hardships of this year serve as lessons on how to improve our world and prevent similar situations. I definitely consider myself one of the lucky ones this year, but it still has led me to reflect on these crazy times that we are living through. I have faith that we will soon be in a much better place. Before we reach this better place we need to be mindful of what led us here to begin with and how to avoid repeating our same steps again sometime in the future.
I am not particularly proud of my last few posts as they’ve been lazy, last-minute posts, or added after the fact. I love language and how careful word choice can really make the words to take life and convey emotion. I envy people like Anthony Hopkin’s who command the English language so beautifully. I envy the eloquence of former President Obama. I feel so hopelessly inferior. I need to remind myself that these men have far more experience and years of practice crafting their words. So I sit here convincing myself that I haven’t missed the bus, that I have merely a long way to go, and that I must go forward with intention.
Before I convey the wrong idea, I want to clarify that the last thing I would desire is to have either one’s fame. I truly love my anonymity; however much this may be a testament to not having accomplished much on a large public scale. Perhaps that’s not entirely accurate. I would much love to have a recognition behind my name, but not a recognition of my face.
When I encounter quality writing–whether it be in a book, on-screen, or on stage–I hang on to every word enjoying not only the story they are telling but the structure of the text itself. I get goosebumps and tear up over particularly beautiful passages. If I can provoke a similar reaction in a reader of my work, I would be delighted. However, doing so requires developing great skill through practice, and practice is something I have not been doing very well. Squeezing in a few hurried sentences at the end of the day yields nothing of quality. To that end, I have ordered for myself “The Elements of Style,” which is supposedly a book that every writer should have. I want to practice with intention and hopefully find my voice and my style.
I’ve toyed around with the idea of writing about food, performances, or traveling in the past. These are all interests of mine, and they do inspire me and fill me with passion. However, they don’t inspire me to want to describe the experience itself. Rather, they inspire the imagination. For example, with music, my life experiences merge with the music’s emotions, and in my mind, alternate beginnings or ends are fabricated. So really, it’s fiction that I enjoy creating. I like writing to express myself, but I wouldn’t say I like sharing personal details much, as seen in my previous posts. Creating a story inspired, however loosely, by real-life events can be an avenue by which to find my catharsis.
I was so delighted by the interesting weather that was going on outside that I was distracted most of the morning and wasn’t really focused on work. This in turn led me to work late into the evening and not dedicate as much time to writing. I need to work on my routine, but I don’t regret enjoying the rain and even some hail.
Tonight, the first significant storm of the season began. So I’ve been enjoying the sound of rain and occasional thunderclaps a few seconds after the flashes of lightning. I was tempted to listen to Beethoven’s Tempest while reading, but I was enjoying the sound of the storm interrupting the otherwise dead silent room.
Today I am grateful for having briefly seen most of my family. We couldn’t all be together like we usually would, but instead of lamenting how different this Christmas is, I am grateful that we have all remained safe and healthy. I’ve heard many times throughout this Christmas season that we need to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. More than ever, I think this is important.
Whatever your belief or faith is, the story of Jesus’ birth, life, and death is a powerful one with a beautiful message. At its most basic level, isn’t it beautiful to think that an all-powerful God would send his only son to the world to save us? Compare it to other stories such as those from Greek mythology and see just how different the one of Jesus is. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools my entire life except for university. I know what the teachings of the church are, but I came to question them as I became an adult and learned more and more about science. You could say I applied the scientific method in my search for evidence and always came empty-handed. However, the thing about spirituality and religion is that it is meant to be a journey without end. There is no finish line when it comes to faith. Faith requires questioning and reaffirming your belief even in the absence of concrete evidence.
We are one tiny life on this enormous planet that is ultimately a nearly infinitesimally small speck in the whole universe. This universe may itself be a part of a far larger body–a multiverse, perhaps. And this possible multiverse as it exists today is a snapshot in time of a possibly infinite continuum of time. How can I then reject the notion of God based on the scientific methods of a species that has been aware of itself for only a split second when compared to the age of the known universe? We can neither prove nor disprove. So the only thing we can do is have faith and on this Christmas Day.
I’ve been a bit lazy about writing these last few days, and frankly, this holiday season has been relatively uninspiring given the restrictions and everything that has been going on in the world. However, it is essential to be mindful of everything good in this world and the many blessings we have been given. Christmas Eve was a stark reminder of just how different this year has been, and it had me a little down most of the day. Later in the day, I realized that the negative outlook was because I kept dwelling on depressing thoughts. I have to be thankful for many things, and I need to open up my heart with a spirit of gratitude to welcome the good things into my life.
I believe it is always important to look back at past experiences and decisions and think about how we could have made them better. I know this goes against the common recommendations of letting things go and not crying over spilled milk. But the fact is that we will often encounter the same or similar decisions. If we never learn from past experiences, we will never progress. I am again doing work late at night, and I found myself wishing I could have been this dedicated in the past. I have done pretty well for myself, but I can only imagine where I could have been right now if I had applied myself a little more. I find myself taking pride in working more and addressing my responsibilities. So as I watch a series on our public television on Japanese culture, I find myself envious of their culture–so focused on rules, timeliness, and an unparalleled work ethic. The series does touch upon the sacrifices in personal lives that a work-focused life can call for, but I think it is worth it. I am increasingly disillusioned with our own culture of YOLO, focusing on the self, and lack of focus/attention. Our country’s debt levels and the infection rates show how little most people invest in their future. I often wonder if there is any hope for most people, but I want to focus on building my own little bubble of order and dedication.