As I sit here crying because I’ve just rewatched my favorite film “Cloud Atlas”, I am reminded of change and dreams.
For a long while now, maybe a year, I’ve been in a slump. I’ve been thinking over and over about how my life is a “drop of water in an endless sea”. Pondering over how tiny I am, how mortality is so finite how could any of us bare the idea of immortality? How I will die inevitably and everything in our waking world is a distraction away from this death, it’s a monolithic movement toward a fake idea of eternal life. It doesn’t come from the Christians, although they now propagate this idea, and it was before the Greeks, before the Babylonians (pre-Judaism), and it was before writing. Humans lie. We lie to ourselves about our fate.We try to block it out, pretend death isn’t lurking under every rock, waiting to trip us up and break us, we shout “DANGER” so quietly.
I’m trying to be honest to myself. Telling myself of my death, that whatever I do, I will die. I’ve been giving up hope, I’ve let all my dreams go. In my depression and in my turmoil I have said “It’s impossible, I’m 1 and 8 billion+ and I am nothing.” I am nothing because I choose to be, but not because I am.
In Cloud Atlas Sonmi said “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”(David Mitchell, author). When she said this, she is staring at a room full of fighting. Everything knows death is inevitable but they are fighting for a better life. Dying for a better life for the other.
My eternal best friend Savannah said to me: “You aren’t great because you are great, but because I say you are great so you have to be, because I want you to be.” Now this sounds very backwards, but I knew exactly what she meant. She meant that even though I don’t think I’m great, or have purpose, or meaning, I am great because she knows so. Then she said “You may think you don’t have a purpose, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself one. Make one up!!”
A few hours later a woman came out of an Irish bar on to the sidewalk where Savannah and I were standing, I gave her a light and she said to me “I want to be your mothah!” and then “Go do something amazing, change the world.”
More than all the religious and socio-political philosophical truths, I know that humans are only human with other humans. And we can only change when we step into the view of the other. The moment we see the point of view of someone unlike ourselves who is apart from us can we begin to understand we aren’t so different. The only way we can learn or affect the world is by changing ourselves.
I heard once that you don’t have to change the whole world to be marvelous, you only have to change one tiny world of someone else’s to make an impact. I hope to change a few, even if those worlds are just my immediate friends and family, I can be ok with that.
I won’t give up though, I’m revisiting my dreams of being a writer, a musician, an archaeology, a teacher, a lifelong learner. I am finding another path and I don’t walk alone, but I am connected with those I find, everyone’s whose path touches mine.
Those who are great most of the time never knew they were. They died, maybe for a cause to fight for the other and are remembered as great because they changed one tiny world, that created a wave to affect many. They weren’t great because they thought they were great, they are great we because we think they are. We think. Present active Indicative plural. We are plurality and individuality and we are being.