You and me

Alles in Ordnung
All the most beautiful things, all the most beautiful music, all the most beautiful art.  It all means nothing without people.  Something I've believed since I was a child that the only thing that really matters (to me) are those things like me: people.  Mostly my favourite people.  A great job, a great apartment, great clothing, toys, and food: without someone to share them with, to show them to, to share in the enjoyment of, it's just a thing that is as easily imagined as it is real.  Across different seasons and different centuries, the things that matter and the world they exist in change, but for a human, something that remains constant is other humans. 

Topics vary: sports, math, science, technology, books, literature, arts, anime, film.  You can like any of them or dislike them all.  It doesn't really matter.  They have no interactive being without another person.  Literature and such comes a little close, depicting human realities, but they're awfully static, predetermined, finite.  They are reactions to an environment captured in time, limited in depth to their origin and how they can interact with you.  You can make them richer by interacting deeper, but when your favourite series ends, you can only go back to memories, or non-canonical dreams of fiction.  Science can help you understand the whole of the world, why things are, treat our curiosity and open new doors of wonder, but we don't really need to know why things are to live, and our understanding will never be very complete.  Technology is scary: at some point it will help alter everything fundamental about our existence: alter the physical world we live in, alter our perceptions of our environment, and create new actors that are equal to other humans, arbitrarily and whimsically.   But today, the vast Internet is finite: it can leave you bored.  You can catch up on all your Google Readering, reply to all your e-mail, find nothing new in Google News, run out of new thoughts to share on Google Plus and through Blogger, find no new activity filtering through Facebook.  Finish another finite game with its illusions of choice and depth.  The Internet is nice in that it connects us so much with other people.  A bit better than literature itself, by giving us so much.  Sport: you could become a 10th dan kendoka and not feel complete.  There's always things to work on, things to better: the rules are arbitrary, and your body is fragile.  Without the world of people to interact with, is it any more than a zoological stereotype?  Does it have context?  Reason?

So here I am, it's 3:35AM and I'm typing into my white box, thinking about people.  I'm glad I've gotten to know so many great people, and I wish I could build more of my world around them.  I think I have a problem, there's something inherently awkward about me that people find unsettling, making it a challenge to casually acquaint unless I offer depth as well: that's no real problem, just a challenge of how much depth to offer, to allow, to permit, to share.  But so what if I want to build my future around people?  If I want them to influence my choices?  I don't want to hear that declining this academic or that professional opportunity to be nearer people is stupid: the opportunity without the people is irrelevant to my existence.  It's substituteable: I used to think people were, but now I think I had it backwards.  So I don't care if shunning people will improve my piano playing, my bushido, my GPA, my salary, or the variety of experience I will get before I die.

Because I am going to die.  It doesn't matter if I don't experience everything possible, there'd still be stuff I'd miss, and I'd still be dead.  I can make a lot of money or a little, live lavishly or frugally, become respected or remain humbly unknown, be called Dr. or just Mr.  Because after all that, I'll still be frail, and slow, and unable to dance through life anymore, and in the back of my mind I know the decline will just continue until it's over.  (Who knows after that!)  The only thing I'll really care about is the impact I'll have had on the only things that matter, the only things with comparable depth to me, things that I'll have influenced and that will have influenced me: people.

So good night neatly stacked dishes, good night freshly baked cookie sitting on a perfectly clean counter top, good night my darling tea flask, sparkling washroom, and orderly closet, and rolls of freshly washed clothes.  Good night my empty inbox and Google Reader.  Good night flashy laptop and smarty phone. Good night my iai, my ken, and my jo.  You're all emotionless, lifeless, and wholly incapable of appreciating your time with me.  Hello people, more precious to me than all the things, than all the sights of the world, than everything not like me.  Hello people, I hope to see you again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, and on and on and on.

Religion: alright, if you have that, this post may not apply at all!  Also, animals apply a bit above along with people, closer than an Android phone, but further than a human love.


  1. I'm inclined, in my personality type/view of life(?), to agree.

    I don't think I really get along with anyone who doesn't have depth to offer! haha. Not in any meaningful way, which is what is (by definition?) important.

    I don't think it's stupid, either, to let people influence your choices -- not even to let them essentially determine whether to take one course of action or another! JUST as long as you don't plan yourself into a corner, only to find regret there.

    After all, people can't be entirely reliable. Even those people who TRY to be reliable and are good at it (people like you, I think) will meet difficulties outside of their control. In that way, a situation you took into account when you tried to get closer to someone may suddenly change, and suddenly your choice does nothing to keep you near them.

    . . . You may or may not be aware that I went out to university in Victoria with the idea that there were several people in the not-too-distant area (accessible by ferry/train) who I would like to visit. At least one of the relationships changed enough that I never went to visit, and at least one of the people moved far away for their own reasons (to be close to someone else, somewhere else). So in the end, there were less people than I expected, and I still don't know if I was able to make that many lasting friends. (At least YOU still talk to me :D)

    But it's okay. Because it was something I DID want anyway, and to the purposes I had in mind (get a degree, live somewhere new for a while) that choice was as valid as if I had decided to take the scholarship at York, or to follow my brother's footsteps to Queens.

    Another thing, I think, is that people don't want to end up RESPONSIBLE for the choices you make on their behalf - even if you're the one who chooses.

    If someone were to pick up their life and move to where I am, I would feel like I should go out of my way to make sure they felt it was entirely worthwhile. Rationally I would KNOW it is not my responsibility, but in practice I just wouldn't be able to disassociate myself based on my perceived influence. If they were miserable for any location-related reason, I would feel guilty.

    You've got to be careful, I guess.

    Furthermore, the more decisions you make independent of other people and their decisions, the more "original thought" you have to contribute? In my view it's actually more interesting to meet someone and hear where their self-originated decisions have taken them, rather than to hear "I did this, that and the other thing because I was following someone else". In the latter case, I'd probably end up feeling like I would rather be talking to the "someone else" in question. :D; Someone with vision!

    HOWEVER - to end a long comment. . . Yes: it is so, so much nicer to talk and have companionship than to have any amount of extra wealth or fantastic experience, and in fact the nicer your surroundings, sometimes the more it becomes like salt in the wound of loneliness to have no one else to appreciate them. :[
    People are so important.

  2. Arilla, you're spectacular. :)

  3. These same thoughts have been passing through my mind as of late. Perhaps not as perfectly articulated but still similar. ;). It has been a comforting read, thanks for that.

  4. You're pretty amazing, and not particularly awkward. :) People as a priority is a valid choice, perhaps a grander one, with all these silly things to distract us. Goodnight whitebox, and thank you.

  5. Arilla, here is a response worthy of your effort, I hope!

    I understand the warning against planning oneself into the corner: I would like to thing most of my decisions are very deliberate and that I'm comfortable with the risks. It's true that no matter how reliable or responsible I try to be, I do not control the world, (nor should I :D) so flexibility helps, which is something I hope I've improved?

    I feel like I failed to make lasting friends my first time through Guelph, except one, but she's living on the other side of the world! My failure is kind of amazing in that regard. I'm glad I met you in Victoria, though, and am eagre for another great northern expedition in December :D I am glad you went to neither York nor Queens, and pursued your choice :)

    I understand about feeling responsible. It's very scary. I think I generally let others be responsible for their choices, even if I know I'm influencing them. I don't want to feel responsible, as they did make the choice, so often I trust that their reasoning is mostly independently sound. I've had a few instances where someone felt responsible for my choices, and it's surprisingly not trivial to disabuse people of suchs notions. I will avoid moving to your town to spare you guilt, though! :D

    Haha, I can see that, the original thought bit. I think choices I make that relate to others always include an independent component though, and I've yet to actually follow anyone anywhere (I often propose amazing adventures though). I have followed people in matters of taste, though, like books and music, but I hope I spread that out wide enough that it gives the appearance of originality :D, especially since I do enjoy the works on merits I can relate to, and not solely because a friend liked it first.

    There is so much in my world around me that I want to share, and haven't had as much opportunity as I'd like. It's a bit better now without courses and with stuff like G+'s Instant Upload for photos, though :D I hope you're not carrying many salted wounds of loneliness right now. :)



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