To think we’d both come this far. Yes, my dear reader, we have done it. Applause is certainly recommended, if not warranted for you and I, whether for better or for worse, thick or thin, sickness or health, have clambered through weeks upon weeks of writing. Sometimes what we found was good. Other times, bad. In fact, mostly bad. Scratch that, all bad.
And yet, we came back. Each week, we read. We learned. We absorbed. Most importantly, we changed. Not because of the pieces we read, but rather, because we always changed. It was inevitable for no moment was ever the same. The person we were five seconds ago vanished in four. With each inhalation, difference arose. With each exhalation, the same could be said.
Through these differences, you and I both differentiated and congealed. We challenged each other, questioned the thoughts racing in our heads, and discussed at length both polemic and trivial matters. From the structure of the universe to the location of a comma in a sentence, we came together.
You and I, dear reader, became united.
Wherever we stood, we stood together. Perhaps it was due to the sultry summer, for like the sun, we were shared between endless ice-cream sundaes, climbing heat, and the growth of all. But because the sun brings oppression, and oppression brings darkness, and fall inevitably lingers, we grew apart. All that we shared became forgotten. All that we discovered, lost. All that we became, never again.
And as we stand here, you and I, we are only left with the thought of where we are, where we should be, and why we are here. While we cannot answer the first two, we can answer the third with a second question: what have we learned. If we find this answer, then maybe we can come together again to an understanding. For what we have learned stands as a testimony to what we are now – apart, divided, and different.
So here, after spending hours together writing and reading, exhausting and relaxing, inhaling and exhaling, is all that we have learnt after some 40,00 words in this “essay-a-week” section alone:
1. After forty thousand words, I still haven’t said anything worth saying. This will be further proof of that.
2. Apparently beginning an essay is the hardest part. I strongly disagree. It is the easiest. You have a whole slew of material to talk about, especially if you’re beginning an essay. Most fail to realize this. Here’s a tip, when starting an essay, type the first word that comes to mind. If it’s porn, so be it. At least that way, you’ll have something on the paper, and from the first seed, a whole forest can grow. This, though, may be a pornographic forest. That’s okay because most are: all natural, wild, and performing sexual reproduction wide open in the great outdoors.
3. If someone tells you advice, don’t listen to them. They speak from their own experience, not yours. They don’t understand a thing about what it means to be you. So in short, advice is worthless.
4. Listen to this fool-proof advice: syntax sucks. Seriously. When attempting to write, disregard all rules of syntax. They only slow you – and your creative juices – down. Additionally, this is the only way to originality. I am slowly making my way there, u n000w broooo?
5. Note that throughout this essay, I have both been using first person, and you. Sometimes, we. Grammar gurus are crapping themselves with anger right about now. Viva la revolution!
6. Oh, that’s something I’ve learnt. Revolutions. Mostly the ones that I experience after recycling the same ol’ sob stories in the same ol’ sequences in order to glean the same ol’ affect. Due to them, I find myself stuck in a circle, which is worse than a square because in a circle, one thinks they’re going somewhere new with each step. Ask Columbus, and he’ll tell you just about the same thing.
7. Writing stands as a manifestation of oneself. If one says they write for someone else, they are lying. They have either never written before or simply never written effectively. For only through oneself is writing possible. Without me, well, there would just be you, and that’s bad enough.
8. Humour is what truly hones a piece. Without it, writing is dry. With it, writing is wet – with spit and saliva due to outwardly chuckling, that is. There can even be a few shards in one’s pants. Believe it. Sometimes, writing can be that funny. None of my pieces ever were. Instead, they were shit, no pants included.
9. While that may be true, humour also calls for seriousness. This is why one laughs at a good and poor joke alike: for the world is a serious place. Only through humour is that seriousness ever truly reflected. Without it, most would fail to recognize the severity of a situation at hand. Instead, they’d gripe on and on about how the world is so morbid and apocalyptic and no matter what one does, nothing can be done to save the world from it’s own destruction. Whether we can or cannot is, and will be, solely dependent on how much we as a human race laugh.
10. Love finds itself in a lot of written pieces. Thing is, no one knows anything about love. They know the whistle of a warm voice in their ear. They know the strumming of a finger against the violin of their hair. They know the table tennis of bodies bouncing against each other. But they do not know love. For love is this and that, that and this, and everything in between – excluding this of course. And maybe that.
11. Lists are quite popular for those who have both disorganized thoughts and the lack of patience to organize them. Point taken.
12. All of this – from the first word to the last, to the introduction to the conclusion, to the capital letter to the period – can be summed up in three words: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Realize that that is all writing is. To one, it means something. To another, nothing.
13. But despite the fact that writing is a simple collection of bullshit, where authors express themselves on paper shamelessly, where thoughts precipitate not as a product of invention but one of necessity, where an intangible idea becomes a solidifying artifact of black ink, it is all we as a human race has. Words are all we are. They describe everything, and more importantly, everything is used to describe them. Our entire perception of the world is defined by a word itself. So while it is true that paintings express a thousand words, it is not true that a thousand words express a painting. Instead, without the words, there is no painting.
For how can one describe art without just that: art? How can one admire the “stroke” of a painter without defining the word? How can colours, or even innate sentiments elicited from a photo, even begin to be described?
14. So while it is true that all that I have said over the summer throughout the essay-a-week challenge, or even in my most recent endeavor of a weekly blog, can be summarized as bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, it is also true that it can be described as every word I ever used. For without those words, none of this would exist. There would be no reader. There would be no blog. In short, there would be nothing – but even that is hard to explain, because nothing is a word, isn’t it?
15. And perhaps in the ambiguity of the answer, there also lies the summary of what I have learned, and what I believe you and I shared, over the past four months of writing. If I were to guess, though, I would say this: someday, you, dear reader, too will write. When you do, you’ll look back at all you have written, from the mountainous paragraphs riddled with mistakes to the metaphors so heart stopping that most go into cardiac arrest after reading them, and you’ll say, “How the heck did I do it?”
And my answer to you will be, “Words, words, words.”
What that means, only you can decide.