Countless metaphors, innumerable ways to say things, but nothing rings louder than your father sharing something in plain words. The other day in the middle of a discussion, my father told me that we do not do things for ourselves but for what they may become in the future, whether we are here to see it or not. Despite the context—its differences—I have since applied it to what I do when I write, or at least, how I think of it. My words are not seeds; indeed, no child will sit in their shade, but they may be a crutch one day for someone struggling to walk among the living. Perhaps, my life from this point on, once this realisation sets in, will be a never-ending journey to be able to live with this reality. It may seem particularly odd to someone who has never looked at it this way, but all artists are selfish. To think you can say something about the world that has never been said before, to think you can splat some paint on a canvas, and call it a masterpiece, is selfish. It is conceited.
But how can I not walk down a street and come back to write about it? This life, the world, even if I was not a part of it, would be worth talking about every second. I do not know much about true love that one writes ballads about. Still, if it was any comparison, the streets, the sizzling, greasy food being cooked in pocket-like stores, the people rushing and sometimes, colliding with one another, the children sprinting across to run an errand, the faces of joy, pain, and worry, the friends walking together, the lovers laughing along, the occasional miscreant, the rare good samaritan who stops to help someone with their bags, all of them make my world go around.
It is a privilege to have the patience to notice all of what we call life. I write about it not because I know how to live it better. I err over and over; I trip more than one might imagine. I write about it all as a reminder. For whom and for what? Well, time will have enough to say about it, and I may not be here when the moment comes. My only concern is to ensure I look around with my eyes wide open and that I have something to say. The ripples of a life lived well travel much farther than those who live it.