~How to become immortal ~
I read somewhere that if you want to become immortal, befriend a writer. The truth is, it's much simpler than that.
If you want to become immortal, you need only write. That's it! I briefly mentioned this in my last blog post, "Voice," which talks extensively about how voice is a form of expression, and we have options as to how we choose to use it. You can read that blog post here.
In general terms, I've noticed the following: Speaking is a thing of the present. Writing is a thing of the past. What the heck does that mean? I'm glad you asked. It means that when we use our voice to speak to someone, we are engaged in a dialogue that exists entirely in the present moment. Half the time as the conversation unfolds we know exactly what we're going to say next before the other person finishes speaking (not the best way to communicate, btw!). Speaking inspires. We will pack hundreds, sometimes thousands and thousands of people into one space just to hear one person speak, sing, or perform LIVE in the moment. If you can't physically be there, tuning into a livestream is the next best thing. In any case, LIVE is ideal. Anything that surfaces after the fact, like videos or a news report, becomes a time-stamped thing of the past. Heck, in this day and age, video footage uploaded even just seconds after can't always be trusted (Hmmm... Media Literacy & Deep Fakes blog post coming soon?). You may have heard me talk about the social media matrix in previous blog posts, too; essentially being the place all our old tweets go to die (or live eternally).
This brings us to is the idea that writing is in fact a thing of the past. The very act of recording your internal thoughts onto a piece of paper is to take your ideas in that moment and hold them somewhere else for safekeeping (Emily Dickinson certainly did). Even if it is just a grocery list. You've now created something that instantaneously belongs to the past. This can be done digitally, too, just by typing. I know it sounds weird, but think about it! If it isn't livestream or FaceTime, or speaking on the phone, it is a time-stamped message thread of some kind. It is still the act of writing, and it still exists entirely in the past, no matter how instantaneous it may seem. Texting will never be as in-the-moment as an in-person conversation. Maybe that's why face to face human connection is so important, and cannot ever be replaced. It's why we have the phrases "In real time," "You should have been there," or here's a great one; "Synchronous learning," because these are words we need to use to translate the value of the present moment into the past.
I like to think of it this way. If I take a nicely sharpened no. 2 lead pencil and I fill a notebook page with my thoughts, I can physically watch as the lead whittles down. I can see it happening before my eyes in a way that typing just can't do. That's why for me, all of my stories, songs. and poems begin in a notebook with a real pencil.
The Literary Matrix is where all of that type writing goes to live forever. Whether scribblings in a notebook left in a drawer after I'm gone, or a published story, all writing goes to The Literary Matrix.
The Literary Matrix is where millions of writers’ voices exist- the published, the unpublished the past and new writers all exist in that space between the physical and the infinite. So if you ever want to become immortal all you need to do is take those ideas, stories, songs, or musings inside of your head and write them down in some form so that your voice is forever preserved in a moment of time. So that somebody, some day, after any lapse of time, can find it somewhere in The Literary Matrix and say, "Wow. This is what ______ wrote." Years down the road somebody can be influenced by YOUR voice. Years down the road YOUR voice could inspire change, ignite passion or spark creativity in somebody else- all because you had something to say and you were brave enough to write it down and share it with the world.
I've talked about why your voice matters, but I can't tell you enough how important it is that you become part of The Literary Matrix and write, write, write!
Write so that someday you can speak long after you're dead.
I'll leave you with a favorite quote of mine (just so you know, I have a LOT of favorite quotes) that has become a pillar which I live by...William Faulkner: "If a story is in you, it has to come out."
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