This is me: an existentialist cry in the wilderness. “Please allow me to introduce myself,” à la the Rolling Stones. I exist and I am separate and I long to be known, not as an image, not as Author or Mother or Wife or Jew or Nurse or even Dog Owner, but as one Self speaking to Another.
Therefore half the name of this blog. Transparency. The name is my promise I will present myself without artifice or dissembling. The purpose of writing must always be an effort to pierce the veils of human separateness. True communion is difficult enough without the myriad images we choose to present to each other.
So, for the purpose of transparency, the subjects I cover will be far-flung. Who can find the soul, but as a conglomeration of disparate elements coalescing around a mysterious I? And thus—ephemera. I can only make myself known through exploration of those disparate elements.
Now the fly in the ointment presents itself with its wings crumpled and multifaceted eyes gone dull. There is no knowing another and therefore “to thine own self be true,” is the only truly possible aspiration. We all are stars in a lonely firmament. We are all created equal, sublimely different, individual, alone.
Why, then, bother to write at all?
There should be a third word titling this blog. Compassion. The effort to understand the true existence of other people, people who are truly other than ourselves, is the great undertaking. Two people—a writer and a reader—are all that are required for communication. When well-executed, communication leads to comprehension, and comprehension leads to the profound understanding that the aliens are here among us. Every other human a universe to itself. And those places where our consciousness touched? Where we felt kinship? Those places are the magic which leads to compassion.
I read this the day after writing it. I think, “What tripe! All of this has been said before.” I consider deleting this instead of posting it. The exposure feels too great. But I have two thoughts.
One, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Solomon’s purported words which are often interpreted as bitter and despairing, give me hope. There is nothing new under the sun. But we each of us must still communicate with each other. And if this is nothing new to me, maybe it will be nothing new to you, and we will understand each other better for having shared.
Two, I promised transparency, and this is what I wrote. Deleting it will simply prove I don’t have the guts to do what I said and make the title a lie on day one.