The Future of a Social Ghost (part 3)
At a friend’s 40th birthday party, a question was asked of the four ladies in attendance. “If you had 72 hours left to live, how would you spend it?” I immediately knew my answer, but wasn’t called up until last. They spoke of being with their families, not telling them so they would not worry, and really just absorbing every moment with them — the attention and gratefulness that comes when familiar is experienced with new eyes. We rationalized that it was too brief to try and travel to some place cool. They turned to me for my reply, with friendly, waiting faces. “I think I would just lay on the bed and think; about what it all means and my life thus far.” I chose to open up the photo book I kept but never looked at.
So out of character for a person so fixated on what’s next. But perhaps if faced with the end, it makes sense to go back. There’s only two directions you can go. The third option, just stay here, was reserved for when I interacted with my body. When sincerity gets mixed with obligation, I skip ahead and stall behind, trying to find an interest point that keeps me drawn to the movie I find myself in.
It’s similar to this nebulous idea of community. Community is shared identity. But what if you are many things or no things? Can you really fit or be accepted anywhere? Or is the truest answer that you fit or are accepted no where? And when you become OK with that, what motivation is there to attempt to connect with others?
The course seems to lead to further and further enrapturement with one’s own world. In-wrap-sure-meant. When one create’s a place they don’t want to leave, the reflexive answer is to let people into it. But as I think about it, you don’t want them to stay. You want them to pass through, and you want them to tell you what it is like for them. You don’t want it changed. You want it experienced and to use the feedback to take note of things you otherwise might have missed. You use them to make you(rs) better. Described this way it feels so selfish. I wonder where the real sincerity lies.
Purely social engagements, then, must be to check-in/ inhabit the reality of the actual world. What matters and is important to another. What they find interesting and worthy of their attention. It’s a discourse. Conversation is an open and willing exchange, and a choice to enter and stay within it. It’s the hallway between worlds, where there is a bench to sit.
Community could be a grand hall — a place that invites you to pass through or loiter, without any social pressure or threat.
It’s not the subway itself but the station. A pause point on here to there. I think this is model on which I’ve structured my high school classes. And I think this is the model I am trying to work through with thinkmovement. But teens tend to be bored and unknowing, and teachers tend to be busy and constantly going. A happy medium needs to be developed: a bridge, tunnel, or perhaps simply a sign.
Taken out of the context of work, if I play my current scenario out, I will likely get my deathbed wish. Those that sought me will have come and gone, successfully able to develop their own autonomy. Those that I sought will too be engaged in the meaningful work of their own curious communities. I don’t see this as a sad ending. I see it as the follow through of a master plan. Fruition instead of failure.
A ghost intends to fade out and disappear. They are meant to be both missed and un-missed. There is such a quiet calm in envisioning this fate. A death of sorts. No funeral or fawning, no regrets or sadness. Just *poof*, like you were never there, unaffected and uneffecting.