Patrick Ward words, code, and music

Pondering Why, While Listening to Miles Davis

Sometimes, as I start these small posts, I wonder why it is I’m pursuing this idea to begin with. I mean, who cares about my silly anecdotes about rudeness at the airport, kites in a tree, or fears in karaoke bars? How does this help anyone? Is it just entertainment? A distraction for bored web surfers?

When there is so much hurt in the world, what good does my little piece of web real estate do? I don’t have articles that raise the consciousness of individuals, convince others of the need for a compassionate lifestyle, or show how to find peace through awareness. These are practices I live. I believe in them, but I don’t preach them. I’m not drawn to write how-to articles, inspirations on personal empowerment, or blunt rants about the state of the world. I try to live as an example for others to follow, but I don’t explicitly teach them through my writing. I’m not sure that I’m wired to be a direct conduit in that manner.

And then I begin to doubt the project itself, thinking this is just another blog, that these bits of random text are no different than the millions of others out there. I start to wonder if I’m just clogging up pathways to more important pursuits. How can my small voice cry out against the cacophony of so many other voices? Who would listen? And, more importantly, why would they listen?

But, then I stop.

I begin to realize these questions are just symptoms of a pity party; they are turds rolling off the ass end of a lazy mind.

Of course this means nothing. I’m not sure I can expect it to either. I suppose, as my skill increases, the meaning behind these missives will become more clear — perhaps more to myself than anyone else. For now, though, they are what they are: experiments in communication, in story form, and in finding meaning.

But does that make them pointless? Does it make them vain attempts to be heard?

I don’t think so.

Ultimately, I want to tell stories — some real, some imagined. I want to explain through the eyes of my characters, through their environments and emotions. My beliefs, my pleas at the pulpit, will come out through their stories, through their actions.

I believe that we need stories. They are part of our social experiences. We need to tell about our own encounters and hear about the adventures of others. We need to identify with the characters in those stories, even when we despise them, because they teach us about ourselves. We learn about our societies, our histories, and our beliefs through stories. They make up the legends of our past, the morality plays in our religions, and the predictions of our future. Without stories, we would be empty, inhuman automatons devoid of the joy in life.

Perhaps, in some small way, I’ll be able to add to the fables of the past and open a few hearts through my own tales. I have a feeling I’ll change myself more than anyone else, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing either. Even if I’m the only one amused by it all, it will have been worth the effort. For, I’ll have made myself a better person through the stories I told.