Monday, August 25, 2008

x365: All we ever have is now

So it would seem that this blog has been taken up almost completely by the x365 project, which I guess is what happens when you say you're going to post on a certain subject every single day, and up to that point you've been doing good to post maybe once a week. The other day, my wife asked me what the point is of this project. It's a fair question, considering that it has quite a navel-gazing quality about it, along with the fact that it means I now spend more time blogging than I was before. In truth, the whole thing started off as little more than a writing exercise, a way to force myself to write at least some tiny little bit every day. One might think of my moods as a stupidly delicate ecosystem, and in order to keep things in an optimal state, it's best if I keep proper amounts of certain things cycling through at regular intervals, one of those things being writing. I just sorta need it, even when it's not good, even when it doesn't come easy, even sometimes when I don't particularly want to. Hence my dive headfirst into the x365 project.

But beyond just writing, it seems to have taken on additional purpose. I'm 32 now. None of us are granted a damn thing in terms of life span, but assuming I am blessed enough to reach the upper ends of the average, I have maybe another 40 years to go, meaning that I'm just a little under halfway there. So being at this point and scanning backwards over the people that have come through, and in some cases gone on, I'm surprised both by how much I remember and how much I've forgotten. There are some people and events that shine so clearly in my memory, these tiny beautiful Moments that refuse to be forgotten no matter how many years have passed since they occurred. They were the kinds of things I knew I'd probably always remember as soon as they happened. Then there are the fuzzier bits, the ones I have to struggle to piece together, and I wonder if perhaps my mind is rewriting history, thus turning my past into some kind of personal legend. Then there's the stuff that's just gone. I have these faces in my mind, some of which even have an associated name, and I know that at one point, this person and I had some kind of some something or other, but I'll be damned if I can come up with a single meaningful memory to stick with them.

Through all of these though, there is one constant, although I'm not sure I'm quite wordsmith enough to explain it in a way that will make sense, but here goes anyway. In each of these times, each of these periods, I remember feeling a sort of absoluteness about where I was. The moment I was inhabiting and the things that had led up to it were all there was. The future was out there somewhere, but the period I was in and the people and things I cared about at that particular moment were what mattered while I was there, and there was no thought in my mind that I would one day forget this particular version of Now.

I don't mean this to sound like I'm freaking out about forgetting my life. I'm not all of a sudden on some mission to document every moment so that I won't ever forget it so that...well, I'm not really sure what the point of that would be exactly. It's just that, in this focus on the past, I seem to have brought myself around to my focus on the present. Today I am a husband and father in my early 30's with a toddler and a baby. In a few years, I'll hopefully still be a husband and father, but I'll be in my mid 30's with two little boys. When I get there, I'll remember some of the things that are happening right now, but some things will be gone. But just because a moment may be forgotten at some point down the road doesn't make it any less valuable, any less worth living fully and completely in, any less beautiful. In fact, its fleetingness may make it even more a thing to be cherished.

So I'm going to keep it up with the x365 project, but don't interpret that to mean that I'm somehow stuck in the past. Life outside this blog goes on.


Whit said...

I think it's cool and pretty impressive.

Bubblewench said...

I think it's really cool that you are doing this. I have been reading but not commenting.. yeah, i'm lame.

Miss Tinselly said...

I admire this project. I have tried to block out people and places and things that happened through my teens and twenties. Lots of stupid stuff.
I tried to think of people I knew and just shuddered.

radioactive girl said...

I have been enjoying reading the posts. I totally get what you mean about forgetting but not being stuck in the past. I feel the same way but could never have expressed it so it made any sense like you did. I don't comment on the posts because I feel like they are so personal, but thank you for allowing us into your world a bit more than we would normally get to be.