Jan 14, 2019

I won't show you.

"Tell me your dreams; am I in them? / Tell me your fears; are you scared? / Tell me your stories; I'm not afraid of who you are. / We could fly..." - Madonna and Lenny Kravitz

I won't show you. I'll tell you. 

I won't tell you how long it will take to read. You'll simply have to begin, if you choose to begin at all, and stop when you come to the end (or earlier, if it grows tiresome).

I hope that in the telling I will reveal something of myself to you that can't be revealed in the sharing of a meme, a selfie, an article written by someone else and presented without comment. 

I'll tell you in print and paragraphs instead of a photograph. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, but aren't words worth so much more? (Would a photo of the field of daffodils stretched out in never-ending line along the margin of the bay have yielded immortality?) 

I fear that I am something of an anachronism here, in this space. No longer my space but an unending stream of faces and feeds. (I confess I find my appetite waning.) Even the vocabulary of online existence is designed to simultaneously gratify and diminish: a gram in an instant, a chat in a snap. Aren't we worth more than a moment and an emoji? 

There you are, out there in the ether, a click, a burden, a chore. But without you I am nothing. What is a writer without someone who reads? Especially this voice, the voice of me as poet/philosopher, with nary a vulgarity or an aside in sight. (As an aside, I like this voice as much as my other voices, but fucking Christ, does anyone else? Who am I writing in this pretentious goddamn voice for, exactly?)

There is, perhaps, an end in sight. Overwhelmed by algorithms and advertisements, by the repetitious and the mundane, maybe we'll drift back into a world where the only information we receive is that which we actively seek ourselves. Maybe I'll write you a letter on a piece of paper and you'll have to wait a week to get it and then I'll have to wait another week for your response. Ah, the lost thrill of anticipation! 

I worry that we are lost, lonely as the digital data cloud that floats on high, overwhelmed by irrelevance and edification, because we are sharing, yes, but we aren't sharing ourselves, or at least not the parts of ourselves that really matter.  

So I'm not going to show you. But I'll tell you about it, sometime, maybe.