I went to Venice Beach with a pad and a pen, and a singular purpose: to write…something. I had no idea what I wanted to write…perhaps I wanted my own small Walden. I went, I stood, and I wrote what came to me. There’s no real point to it other than writing for the sake of writing.
At the edge of the world, two of the fundamental elements collide in a never ending struggle. The ocean crashes onto the soft granular bulwark of the beach, eating away at it with each rolling wave. The earth draws the overreaching waters down into itself, recovering what was taken and reinforcing itself against the impending assault. Neither side able to press advantage and turn the tide (if you’ll pardon the phrase) in its favor.
Here I stand, at the edge of existence,
Firmly rooted in soft, yet stable earth,
Watching as the waves grow with persistence,
Roaring in with inimitable mirth.
This is nothing new. For longer than history, the waves have crashed against the shores. I suppose, in the bigger picture, there are more examples of aquatic victories than those of the earth, but these are the battles not of decades or even generations, but of eons and eras. They share commonalities, water and earth…they both support life, and both contain oxygen in their respective molecular makeups. They share commonalities with each other, but neither can truly ever be the other.
The world of water and the world of earth are intrinsically different.
As it is with water and earth, so it is with people. We share many commonalities with each other, but our collective experience can never be truly duplicated in another. We are each the product of our own unique existence.
I will never see the world as you do;
We may never see eye to eye.
I may never understand what drives you,
But it costs me nothing to stop and try.
Water and earth are what they are; they can not choose to be or not to be. People are blessed (and cursed) with self awareness, and with it, the ability to understand.
It is a choice unique to us. Why should we not take advantage of it? I suppose it was best said by a pair of time traveling philosophers…
In the words of Ted Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esq.:
Be excellent to each other.
[future edit: little did I know, but I was touching on an idea I would learn about a year and a half or so later in grad school: existential isolation.]