Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

I was going to CONQUER THE WORLD.

My plan of action was this:
1. acquire vast encyclopedic knowledge of unquestionable magnitude

2. travel to every location, speak every language, be versed in every culture known to man

3. hobnob with the movers and shakers of tomorrow’s Tomorrow

4. accumulate vast sums of money through inspired acts of revelation to be spent on even more inspired acts of philanthropy

5. stay current with, and recklessly pioneer, pop, Internet, creative & literary culture

6. become genius brain-splitting artist/mystic with indelible influence on contemporary paradigms

7. have finger on pulse. of Everything.

My main agenda was to wrap my head around humankind’s potential (via shrinking planet and expanding technology) that I saw before me rising. Then, once understanding and tapping said potential, I wanted to master the game, show the world how deftly I could play, and then become the game–

I wanted to be the shit.

The presence of the internet didn’t help. In fact, it only exacerbated my exposure to the world at large, the world I was supposed to be keeping up with. I thought that in order to contribute something significant, beautiful, meaningful to my world, I had to first get one step in front of it — I had to grow a whole world wide.

What that meant I wasn’t sure. I just knew it meant something BIG. Important. Random. Publish something brilliant! Coordinate massive movements of the mind! Create a thing revolutionary! Become an instant star! Anything culturally, creatively, technologically new and exciting made my brain pop, and with desire to contribute. I didn’t know how. I just knew I wanted to feel like a creative giant palming the globe, or a bee pollinating inspiration-blossoms the world over. Call it idealistic youth. Call it thirst of an artist. Call it mania — call it whatever you want, but it pulled me, and I followed, determined to be at the helm; determined to transcend…

(( That kind of ambition is deathly ))

Now, I just write unpublished poetry in the countryside of Penngrove. And I know something has changed not only when I watch a video like this and miss all references, but don’t care that I do.

I’ve discovered the joy of feeling small in this overlarge world, and how sweet it tastes to release my (need for) relevance in it. Which is why when I learned about the World Digital Library project, (which I won’t explain so you have to watch the video), I once again my felt my brain popping, my heart giddy, and – well – a little turned on. But in a sane way.

What a beautiful testament to the integrating potential of the internet age! Despite churning out meme-slapping, nails-on-a-chalkboard and “?”-producing phenomenons that makes one wish the Web had never been spun, I have faith that the inevitable destiny of our dear friend The Internet is for Good, not Evil.

But the World Digital Library is a thing of such *exquisiteness* that it makes form a little lump in my throat. Does that seem a little much? What, you might be asking, does this “portal to cultural content worldwide,” have to do with an obsession to stay current? The WDL project is indicative of how things are moving faster than me, into things I cannot fathom, beyond that which I can even understand. That little lump in my throat is bittersweet realization that someday my (as of yet non-existent) children will roll their eyes at my technological ineptitude and cultural irrelevance the same way I roll my eyes when my mother asks me how to load an iPod*[1]. It is knowing that I must leave my post at the helm, and that it was never really mine to occupy. It’s finally figuring out that there is a cycle to these things, and I am subject to that cycle.

But the stinging in my throat is also a joy at knowing that the breadth of human potential spans wider than anything I can ever imagine, and anything I could ever be. It’s a lump of Thank God there’s more to come, and Thank God it’ll be bigger, and better, than me.

*[1] Love you mom!


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