Thursday, December 16, 2010

seeing at year's end

Whoa. I haven't been around here for some time.

And now, the obligatory preamble before I ramble on.

There was a time when I could barely restrain myself from blogging. But as time went on, the need for self-confessionals and such was gored to death by Facebook's status messages and even (to a smaller degree for me) Twitter. Without being fully aware of it, I was Borged into micro-blogging (if I did any true writing like that at all).

And the timesink that is Facebook, with Pet Society and Farmville, ate into a lot of my writing time. Not for fiction (I still managed to write a number of published stories this year) but for blogging. I managed to wean myself almost completely off PS, but FV is another matter. Perhaps it's my secret need for godhood (or maybe I really want to be a farmer, but in a world where Blueberries take only 4 hours to grow).

But while I have curtailed my blogging, I have continued thinking. My thought life is sectioned off into anxieties (business, health, family, writing), hopes (business, health, family, writing), worldbuilding (writing, games), and so on. I think about people I've met, films I've seen, books and comics I've read, games I've played, stuff I've done or not done.

It's nothing special. No extraordinary process here. People do it all the time, I know.

But in these times of quiet contemplation, when the weight of promises made exerts a deleterious gravity, when the scale of a human life can be rendered into telling details, when memory is both dubious and of sudden importance, I find myself asking questions. I consider regret. I examine my faith. And I am slowly coming to grips with what is truly important to me.

When I hit 40 (I'll be 42 this coming January - 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything, according to Mr. Adams), my body began to give in to time. Everything winds down, and the illusion of youth cannot be maintained. With my visit to the various doctors and the realization that if I do not change my lifestyle I can drop dead, things came into perspective.

Before you get the idea that this is a teary-eyed ode to lost youth and opportunities, get a hold of yourself.

What this is is me saying that what matters to me is simply living. Spending days with my wife and daughters and watching the little ones grow up. Spending time with friends just talking the night away, sharing speculative worlds. Writing stories that I'd want to read. Reading books that make me think. Watching films that move me or provoke me. Appreciating the humble egg.

My anti-climatic epiphany is that life, in all its real smallness and imagined bigness, is worth living, and I have chosen to experience everything in 3D full-color billion-dots-per-inch glory. It doesn't make me a better person, no, not really. But the perspective, the zoom ins and zooms outs, have dramatic effects.

It's the same world, and I've been in it before.

But this time, this time I choose to see.


Blogger Kat said...

It has been a while Dean. :) You were one of the first few people I met through blogging, back when it was simply just about writing and sharing. It's changed so much since then.

Like you, my blogging "urges" have dwindled. I remember when I could still maintain four blogs and post on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Now, I'm lucky if I can get ten posts in a month. I don't know if it's because I've lost the urge to really blog, or if I've got other priorities.

It would be nice to see you post something occasionally. Glad to hear that life is treating you well. Cheers!

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Blogger Dean said...

Hi Kat! Ah, those bygone days :) I think the very freedom to just write and blog was very potent at the start and for a long while after. But life has a way of intruding :)

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"When I hit 40 (I'll be 42 this coming January - 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything, according to Mr. Adams), my body began to give in to time..."

You are still very lucky. When I hit 40, none of those universe thingy still didn't matter to me. Instead, I was slapped with diabetes. My weight, which was heavy (still is right now) just dropped significantly. Lost 18 to 20 pounds and I was not even doing anything. I read and read and my choices were cancer and diabetes. I told my doctor I could live with diabetes but not cancer. My wish was granted. Now I have been living with the disease for ten years. Well, still better than cancer, right? Point is, we have to always count our blessings and live life like as if tomorrow will not come anymore. Live it in a good way, of course. hehe.
It's always been a pleasure reading you, sir.

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