“It was too big for the world. Nobody has ever seen a thing like this. And when they see this picture in the news… well, in the… over the… moving pictures, they’ll really see something.”
-Sidney Westerfield, Woodstock, Three days of peace, music… and love.
Sometimes writing words on the internet feels like crying into a river. Either something catches your tear, or it simply gets lost in a world bigger than its own. The more tears we shed into this digital river of bits and numbers, the more they might get caught by something… by someone who cares enough to know. Some lonely and isolated algorithm that finds the buzz words, alone in its air-conditioned observatory server, like an astronomer looking for new worlds on the edge of the horizon. An unthinking bot. Not living… just operating, buying and selling information like stocks, ignorant to the warm-blooded human-being attached to the keystroke on the other end. To it, we are just data. Life reduced to nothing more than electrical transmissions. Organically obsolete interactions lost and floating around an endless universe of cold and darkness. Synthetic space – or better, man-made universe, full of an uncountable number of stars and planets, complete with all the junk that goes along with it.
I used to write more on the internet. I enjoyed it. Sending my digital thoughts to my digital audience. But something has changed. It’s not as fun anymore. Now everybody is a critic, offended by anything and nobody knows the answers. Mislead and misinterpreted by our assigned algorithms. Analyzed by our digital Gods and placed in our appropriate files. Just useless data fodder at this point, trying to echo in the vacuum of synthetic space. How does one shout into a hurricane of voices and still be heard? How does a star at the edge of the universe wonder if somebody sees their light? Call it internet agoraphobia – it just feels too big at this point.
Too big for this world.
So, I just keep writing. I keep sending my transmissions into the universe… my tears into this river. Despite the phobia of those thoughts being lost in space. Because it keeps me sane, and it keeps me thinking. It keeps me writing, and that’s all that matters to a writer. To feel like, even though nobody may be listening, that our voice, cast like a light into the universe, may catch a lonely astronomer looking for new worlds on the edge of infinity. Caring to listen to one person’s rant, standing at the dawn of the Anthropocene, enduring the dry breath of the apocalypse wind. Here we are, in digital telepathy, surviving like a tree that has broken through a rock to reach the sun. Ready to endure, ready to change the world with our voices, no matter how small we may be. You can’t slow down the sun, not so much as we can change the invention of time. There is no way forward but through, no matter how fierce this wind.
Thanks for joining me on this quest to keep an ounce of sanity in an insane world.