Leave A Hole

While exploring the Web a bit last night (one of those website-link-to-a-blog-link-to-another blogroll link) that turns up interesting things, I ran across a blog from a writer who’s started an autobiographical novel.

It is written in a pretty breezy, conversational style that made reading easy, even though I don’t think it was really heavily edited or polished up for the public.  It tells of his struggles with some addiction issues, successfully overcoming them, and other pieces of his life in a very readable, straightforward manner.

It’s a personal blog, and after reading a few chapters I clicked a link to another arts blog he had mentioned he was developing for not only writers but artists in other media as well.

Upon arriving at this project he had spoken about, I was somewhat shocked – this particular person, in his early 30’s, who seemed to finally be finding his voice – was dead.

He had died about 6 months ago.  His sister and friends kept the site going as a memorial to him.

It was a jarring notion that this person who was becoming so real to me just one mouse-click ago was gone.

I never knew this person.  It is certainly a tragedy for anyone to go that young, but that wasn’t what was responsible for the strange feeling I had.  This young man had been a communicator – even in the few chapters I could tell he was able to transmit feelings and ideas in his work.

It makes you think…if you stopped doing whatever it is you are doing, would people notice?  Would they feel your absence?

Because if they wouldn’t, maybe you should do something else.

I don’t mean to imply you should chase fame, or notoriety.  Plenty of those kinds of people pass on and we don’t feel much.  They never connected with us.

But hopefully, someone, somewhere, who may not even have known us, can look at what we’ve left behind and appreciate it.  It’s the only way we have of any kind of immortality.

Makes you think about what you are leaving behind. Because if you don’t leave something behind, you are going to be dead a long, long time.

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5 thoughts on “Leave A Hole

  1. I’ve had something similar happen to me as well. It’s a haunting feeling and a reminder that we think we’re permanent.

    My view on “legacy” has changed over time. Maybe it’s because I don’t have children, but I’m starting to think I don’t really care if I or anyone leaves a legacy. The whole planet will go in a puff of smoke one day.

    The legacy thing can often make us live dreary work-all-the-time lives because we’ll be remembered later. I know religions have used this technique for centuries. I find that approach repulsive and a cop-out. It’s also a good way to get people to behave.

    The reason to think of legacy (in my opinion) is that it makes us better people NOW.

    • I guess my definition of legacy is that if someone I knew should think of me, or run across something associated with me, it would trigger a warm feeling. Or at least one of respect. I don’t have any kids either so there’s never been that type of legacy concern for me either.
      I also agree with you that the “this will go on your permanent record” approach is a way to ensure docility…that’s why they used it in school!

  2. Must have missed this post when I was away. But Harry I hear you on this one. I think it’s an important human compulsion for us to want to leave something of ourselves behind… to mark the spot where we had been. It all plays back into the question of life purpose. And I’m naive enough to believe that everyone has one. Nothing is ever for nothing. No words that were ever spoken go unnoticed… every one creating ripples in the world… just as that young man’s words have done for you. They had an impact he could never have anticipated. And it made a difference. What we do here… and what we say… will always made a difference to someone somewhere. Even if we never get to know who… 🙂

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