Today I will offer you a gift.
As a writer, the gift of words is indirect. It is presented in the form of their work. The purpose of literature is the ability to provide a platform for personal thoughts, ideas, and emotions.
The relationship of a writer to their audience is therefore a delicate one. There are no negotiations nor given warnings. The trust is given without indication and consent provided by the physical act of turning the leaf of a page (or scrolling down a browser as necessary).
It is the imagination of the reader that sets the boundaries and limits. The sole responsibility of the author is to encompass such imagination without misinterpretation or miscommunication.
For the sake of clarity, this gift must remain as narrow and vague as possible. To be more narrow would only limit your own interpretation of them. These words must remain as ambiguous as possible and it is my hope, as it is my intent, that you find them adequate.
I want you to pause for a moment. I want you to envision yourself not as a person, not even an object, but an emptiness of space.
Imagine that you are a living vessel.
You are a unique entity that is capable of thought and emotion, ever fluctuating and growing within the infinite stretch of time and history itself.
You possess in your own telling a story of your own. This story is destined never to be understood by anyone but yourself.
Its telling will vary a thousand times with everyone that you meet. Some will draw inspiration from it. Others may admonish you instead.
Your past injuries and scars are another chapter of your life. Your hopes and fears are another chapter of its own. You will have seen a great number of triumphs and regrets, each as balanced the next, even if at times they seem to outmatch the other.
Likewise, you have in your possession a certain gift, a secret power. It is a kind of power that is often unknown to others perhaps not even to yourself.
You have the power of choice.
Your actions alone have brought you to this very moment. Other times it may have been entirely circumstantial, that it was by some consequence not of your own doing that has led you here to this point.
In response, the knowledge of such power grows heavier with each decision. You may pause to contemplate the sheer responsibility of your actions, the extent of your own control in this story that is being told.
Nonetheless you remain as you are. In time your decisions will come one step after the next, taking you from one place to another, taking you across many different chapters and shared in many variations.
That power comes from shouldering such burden and one cannot deny its existence, for it as present as the beating of your own heart, the weaving of its fabric. The purpose of its presence is never to be understood by anyone not even to yourself.
In the end, as it is with all living things, so too will your journey be concluded. The impact that you leave, the very mark that is left behind, is not predestined at least not in this version itself.
A thousand variations may have already existed. With a small change of detail, the nature of your story has varied a thousandfold in many different places, many different approaches.
But in this one, that is this one story, this brief moment in time, you are present and you are as real as can be – an imperfect vessel whose fate and whose destiny is unforeseen and whose story is far from completion.
In knowing the course that lies ahead, the power that you contain, your story will either become simpler or heavier from it. The comfort of the gift I provide today is a reminder of this knowledge: that your story is your own to create, be it for better or worse, may you live forever through its telling.
May your journey be as fulfilling and as enriching as it is meant to be.