Look! You are looking. What are you looking for? Sense, meaning and purpose? Well then you have come to the right place. Purpose aplenty you will be encouraged to look for yourself for your own unique, one-in-seven-point-three-eight-billion, precious life. I can only share my stories. Here they begin.
There was a time when «websites» didn’t exist. Anybody having something to say, or at least thinking they had, and not confident enough for a pamphlet nailed to a church door or the printing press or the radio, would have to resort to a scrap of writ pinned to a tree or fence.
What if one of those fossils who grew up just before the digital revolution came to realise how empowering it could feel to publish something for everybody connected to the world wide web to see. Though by nature of unobtrusive character, this fossil, say a cute Acanthostega, would realise that he had the desire to share some information and have a dialogue with like-minded deep sea creatures, would go ahead and purchase a domain and put some stuff there. Naturally unassuming, the little Acanthostega, let’s call him Gunter, would presume that its ramblings could stay there for weeks or even months without getting noticed, other than maybe by a few deep-see-trawling web bots straying in and over.
So what is this, asks the bot,
- someone trying to flog something? a glorified business card, like these uber stylish ones that you merely scroll down endlessly these days and the content transforms in a riveting fold-up fanfold?
- or more like a trading place, proffering some hopeful or deluded or just boring commercial product or service or service sourcing a product or discerning among suppliers of a service offering a product, or a rating scheme for servicers of an offering of assurance about the quality of a service delivering a comparison between product schemes, or what endless businesses iterations people come up with in this saturated, depraved sphere?
- a media outlet for current affairs, reports about ongoings, news and developments, a magazine of reflective or even opinionated commentary? Typically one-directional with someone of the calling of journalist or blogger or vlogger or gnogger or what you call these clans of individualists, with optional comments?
- another one of these swooshing social media self-aggrandisement initiatives?
Of course it could be any mix among these.
What the clever bot may not think of is that maybe our fossil is an upwards learner, not presenting finished wisdom, not sulking over who or what it was not able to become, but stretching to what it is not yet, before time runs out. Thrilled by new abilities, new heights, new depths of meaning. New elements. Air. Land. Trees. Mountains. Glaciers, sliding back into the depths.
Now just think for a moment that Gunter is desirous of a bit of recognition, after having scaled the height of a mountain he cannot name; not anything like “look how gorgeous I am”, just some perception of “isn’t this fascinating”, or maybe even “if there is all this world out there, all this potential, all this thought, all this heart, all this purpose strewn out to be grasped, let’s start and build up something together”.
Sure Gunter could just get a social media profile or two or forty. But technology and design dictate the format and ways of expression. An Acanthostega is a somewhat slow and pensive creature. It cannot chase some ephemeral “likes”, retweets or getting “favourited”. It cannot quite squeeze its revelations into 160 characters. It is not punchy, witty, popular, gorgeous, just humble, gentle, inconspicuous, yet grandiose.
An ancient emperor Tiktaalik who wants all the wisdom of his empire recorded in writing issues a decree to all wise late Devonian lobe-finned amphibious tetrapods to collate everything in one volume, and they gather for several decades and come up with a 15-metre wide encyclopaedia of tomes. The emperor is impressed and pleased but wants this abridged, so he issues another decree to whittle this compendium down to the ultimate essentials. Another horde of wise fish spends years, to come up with a three-volume lexicon of absolute wisdom. The emperor is not satisfied, he wants it shorter. Through several more stages and episodes each lasting years, finally the greatest minds of that empire come up with a single phrase that contains all wisdom, and that one sentence is: “Just do it.” Wonderful. Awesome. Tweetable. (Also meaningless glorious vanity, laissez-faire and free PR for a major sports brand. So this can’t be it.)
Gunter still believes it has something to say – deep, murky murmurings of unfathomable relevance, half-baked convictions about “eternity” and meaning, moonlit insights into silver-tongued seas that tell without cease to however has ears to hear truths as deep as I can bear about who we are and why and how we can be truly fulfilled and achieve our purpose. Untweetable, the twitchy sparrow of the day does not sing of such things, the merle may, as it beholds the liquid silver of the half moon, if you find leisure and muse to listen with intent.
Already it has exploited any fellow fossil’s stamina to cling to a mental thread, to scroll a wheel, when all they care about are the latest flashes and whizzing sharks passing by and lethal dragnets annihilating stretches of seabed.
Regardless, Gunter shall punch in with its clumsy primeval digits, the things that its small but capacious heart burns to share and its wits cannot bear withholding. If any fellow soul of the deep may not think Gunter’s sole intention must have been to waste away time, it may respond.
“I may be small and insignificant”, thinks little Gunter as he waddles clumsily through the unknown jungle, “but I do not forget my creator’s instructions, to follow his path to life.” A little sun ray follows the Acanthostega as it waddles on.
(Ps. 119:141, John 8:12)