Thursday, March 31, 2011

When the Melancholy comes

This post will be less funny than, I hope, this blog will typically run. Because I've been thinking about death a lot this past week, and it's a melancholy train of thought.

There are three circles to this thought (I know I'm mixing my metaphors, bear with me).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Inauguration: the most self-important title I could come up with

I made a decision, when I was still young enough to believe I could actually make such a decision, to not go insane.

The joke version of this monologue goes: "I've been failing ever since."

The interesting version goes: "It's been a strugle ever since," then I go on to detail my heroical journey.

The real version is, as far as I can tell, I've kept to my decision. [cue a chorus of my friends howling with laughter. Thanks friends! No, but seriously, folks ...]

You choose, with every action you take, what kind of person you want to be. All the really brilliant writers say so:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
or, more simply:
I am what I do. - Stephen Sondheim
If character, then, is not the shape of you and your private fleecy-blanketed thoughts, but rather the shape of your actions, then you are constantly either making or unmaking yourself.

If character is an articulated thing, in colors and words and labels, then honestly I personally have no idea who I am, and only chalk outlines for who everyone else is. I have character, but like Michael Frayn's interpretation of Heisenberg, you could tell me - years before I could tell you - who I am. I'm too inside myself to see myself.

Okay. Let's look at the scorecard. I've either quoted or paid homage to three famous writers/philosophers as well as that controversial German physicist, pandering to the snobs in the audience. I've gotten pseudo-heavy and deep on who we are and how we become who we are in very short order, without actually bothering to delve beyond skipping a stone across the surface. I've also attempted the oh-so-attractive hybrid voice of conversational intellectual.

And now I've created a metaphorical scorecard.

Do you hate me yet? Or (perhaps) do you like me yet? And the all-important - do you have a sketch of who I am? [editor's note: we are currently accepting submissions]

Naw. 'Course not. Just a sketch of how my brain is working at this particular moment. In isolation. Just me and my brain. And you, gentle reader (ha! Jane Eyre shoutout, what what).

I don't know what this blog will be yet. I hope it entertains and enlightens. I hope it figures out what it is faster than it's taken me to figure out what I am.

Any questions?



But wait, Zelda! I hear you cry. Didn't you always say you didn't want to start a blog until you had a mission, a good theme for it?

Oh. Yes. That. I reply. Shut up.

Then a third disembodied voice points out that I'm having an argument with myself, and the "not go insane" resolution goes flying right out the 44th story window.

Sometimes trying to find the mission is the mission.