Bookmark #529

If you have a lot to say, you may as well share it with a friend before you are left with nothing, and then, and only then, should you sit down to write. It is not about having a lot to say that people become writers; it is the opposite. If there is a question on my mind, it is about how life is the same on most days; how do I find something special in it? And for better or worse, my disposition to look at things, ordinary things, only so I could write about them with an earnest appreciation, has saved me from the perils of what most people call finding the meaning of life. It is a fool’s errand.

If life has meaning, you make it like you make coffee in the morning. You make it on your own, and you do it repeatedly; sometimes, when someone stays the night or if you are with others, you do it for someone else. And like coffee or tea, everyone else has their own preferences, which you must remember if you ever have to make sense of things for them, which is why they will never quite enjoy your preferred flavour. There is no grand meaning; what comes close is a strictly independent motivation to create it in the most mundane things. All writing is about looking around and being amused by it all. The meaning of my life is whatever makes me not pull my hair out and go mad. There is so much that fits this description—I am overwhelmed by how much sense it all makes.

And what of happiness? You can be happy with the simplest excuse. It is raining outside. There’s a good excuse. I am here, writing on a Saturday afternoon. I am still young, and there is still time. Those are excellent reasons to feel a sense of meaning, and what is even better, those are all fantastic things to write about because when all the details are stripped away and all the preferences removed, this is what remains in common.

You must not talk about the syrup, the sugar or the milk; you must talk about what remains when they are removed; you must always talk about the coffee. The rains, the coffee, the feeling of time passing and the reassurance that a lot is still to pass. It is why people read the classics. They all find a bit of them in it, and in searching for meaning, a bit is all you need.