Words, labels, like a deep lake they often have multiple layers and meanings. The surface layer glistening in the sun, an idyllic uncorrupted version. Yet if you were to go down you would find the bottom layers become murky, blurry shapes can be seen darting from strained eyesight, creatures who's existence are purposely veiled. If you venture down to the very bottom you find an unsolidified muddy foundation.
Such is the lake of cancel culture. A propogandist idea, constructed to appear simple and idyllic. A lake who's real denizens wish to hide their true nature and a foundation that is anything but solid.
So here I am, faithful timer at my side, delving into yet another writing challenge on the internet. Why am I doing this? There are the easy to spot answers, rising from the water like islands. It improves my writing skills, it entertains me, it could create a connection. For many that is enough, you set up a beach chair on the island that you like the most and go on about your day. However, if you wade into the water you start to see things, sunken things, things twisted from neglect, things meant to be forgotten.
Perhaps writing is not so innocent as it sounds. Perhaps it comes from a deeper place, a place of the forgotten and ignored. Writing to seek validation, tentacles reaching out from the hidden place of deep personal humility and shame. Writing to express our deeper selves, absolving us of our troubled actions and pasts. Writing from a worry that we will be forgotten, showing the world a portrait of ourselves that we hope won't be called out for the fake that it is...and my time is up.
I spend too much time swimming in the pools of the past. Reliving the times of happiness that came from seemingly endless possibilities and new human connection. Oh the life I was to have, full of deep friendships, full of adventure and the realization of my dreams. I would wake up excited to see the people I knew and to grow as a person, those days are long gone. I am not the man I once was, although sometimes it still feels that way, and perhaps, somewhere deep down, I still am.
For all the talk of "personalities", society has a funny way of grinding them to dust. You soon realize that those smiling faces hide secret agendas, what seems genuine to you is merely another stepping stone for someone else, and once stepped on you are left in the dirt and forgotten. Used this way you are grounded down until you forget you yourself are human, and not just a tool for the benefit of others. If you're a tool then others must be as well, so you start using people accordingly.
It started off small for me, using a friend to meet someone in my industry. I got a good job out of it, suddenly surrounded by new "friends" I let the original one go, back to the dirt from whence he came. Once I realized this had no consequences it became normal. When I was lonely I would fake love for another, when I was angry I would berate another, when I was greedy I would manipulate and take. I have become everything that hurt me and I have become everything that I hate.
July 26, 2022 (Day 60):
I planted potatoes today, I don't know how to plant potatoes, but we need food. I reached for my phone to google "growing potatoes". I guess some habits die slowly. I remember before all this I used to hate getting dirt on me. Nature, dirt, the outside, I wasn't interested. None of that seemed important, not when I was climbing the corporate ladder. Handshakes, fake smiles and immaculate suits. That's what really mattered, not the humble toilings of individuals striving to gain from the land, but rather the manipulation and positioning to grow fat off the produce of those same individuals; to gain from society itself.
That is in the past though, and today, well today the potato rules. I am fine with this, be it from necessity or a deeper pervesian of personality through that same necessity, I don't actually miss the suits, the free client lunches and the resulting power. Though at the time nothing seemed more important, the hidden sacrifices needed only showing themselves at a time of crisis.
Loneliness. It's hollow, saddened roots had slowly worked its way into the soil of society for decades. Each new screen with a dancing cartoon, each new buzz and whistle, each new technological invention marketed as "bringing humanity closer together" served to seperate us, through distraction, through made up societal commitments and through incomparable convenience. For years I had been completely alone, yet surrounded by friendly faces separated by a thin sheet of glass. A mockery of human connection, but at the time so welcomed to one living a life of fake connections.
This is why I enjoyed planting today. I'm not just planting for myself, but for my new family. The toil is dirty and undignified but I feel more satisfied than I have for the last 10 years. The faces of the people I care for, I see them everyday, not as digital representations, not as obstacles towards my monetary gain, but as an intertwined team, all working together for the same, communal goal. My potatoes won't be bought by some corporate monster for pennies on the dollar, leaving me enough profit to restart the process. Rather they will be used directly by my family, enforcing social ties and in turn help us all stay strong. I am no longer giving my effort to a faceless void that spits back a numeric symbol of worth back up to me, I can now see how my efforts help those around me directly, I can live my value.
It's funny, it took us losing everything we thought we had to get back everything we forgot we had lost.