Yesterday I spent far too much time obsessing over self-absorbed things, experimenting with profile photos (but only half-seriously, so none worth using, and realizing I was truly getting old), pondering my existence online (and how to rearrange it to make myself look better), and chasing likes. I read far too much bad and mediocre poetry in the process, of the kind that garners an abundance of seeming popularity.
I think it’s important that people write, but only the truth, and not drivel to be liked. So mustn’t I set the same example? And yet I myself crave likes. And what gets likes? Mostly drivel. With a few rare exceptions. And why? Because that which is likeable is usually also banal and harmless.
As humans we only want to leave our mark upon the harmless and banal, though we prefer to explore darker woods. We want to see but not be seen, in the true underbelly of the world.
We may visit and even promote pristine shrines of skulls, such as the catacombs of Paris; those show well on Instagram. But that is only because an engineer has designed it (thoughtfully and ingeniously, I might add) to be promotable. And what of the sewers? The unexploited dark places don’t photograph as well.
Each day, or most, I bring the children to the local lake. Often we are alone on the beach, those days when there is cloud, wind or rain. Each time, half the kids don’t want to come. But I force the issue, stoically as I can (which isn’t, very), and I become daily more resistant to opposition. (At least I tell myself that, here and now.)
Here is how I can test my own worth: If a deed is difficult to do, because it will meet with massive resistance, though it is the best thing to do in that moment, and I have done the deed in spite of that resistance, I have become more worthwhile.
Yesterday, at the lake, even the most initially-resistant kids were thrilled to experience reality, once immersed.
Image credit: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com