An Artificial Benchmark

This is post number 2400. And ninety-one more await as drafts, though most of them will eventually be erased without ever realizing the potential of being seen by human eyes other than my own. If each of my published posts embodied a day of my life, this blog would represent more than six and one-half years of my existence, more than ten percent of my time on earth thus far. That’s either a sad critique on the impact I’ve had on the universe or a commentary about my ability to talk to myself at length. In reality, I’ve been writing this blog for just shy of five years,  having written my first post here on August 10, 2012. In that first post, buried among the introductory garble, I said this:

This site was conceived as a place for me to record my confusion, thoughts, beliefs, frustrations, wishes, dreams, desires, and what little wisdom I have had the good fortune to acquire through the years. Reflecting back on my life, I have many regrets, almost all based on my failure to be the kind of person I know I want to and should be.

It has turned into a place where I do all the above, as well as labor over writing fiction that simulates my confusion, thoughts, beliefs, frustrations, wishes, dreams, desires, and a modicum of wisdom. The characters about whom I write, the ones whose inexcusable flaws exist in parallel with short-lived outbursts of decency, are modeled in one way or another after the person I know better than anyone: me. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been unable to finish—satisfactorily—writing about any of them. Neither their worst flaws nor best attributes, after the flaws have been sanded and polished, have a finished model in life.  It’s quite possible that the characters in my writing would have scant appeal to most readers, given their flaws.

I continue the slow process of attempting to compile a collection of what I’ve written, both here on the blog and in other places, into a collection with some semblance of order and connectedness. I’m finding chaos in what I’ve written, with occasional pockets of smoother, less disturbing environments. I suppose all human lives are chaotic disturbances into which sufficient serenity is introduced to make them bearable. So, in that sense, my writing is like life. And therein rests the eternal question: what is the meaning of life (and, by extension, my writing)? None of my diatribes answer that question, not even the ones that assert, “there is no meaning to life, life just is.”

Why these matters are on my mind today, not on the anniversary of the blog but, instead, at the achievement of a meaningless number of posts, I do not know. I did not stop to ask before I wrote what I’ve written. And now it’s too late. I’d have to go back and start over, and that’s not on my agenda this morning. This morning, my agenda calls for delivering my wife’s car to the dealer for its 30,000 mile service, which will drain our bank account to the tune of well over $300. Perhaps I’ll write about greed in the automotive sales and service industry in a future post.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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