I was talking with a writer friend about this yesterday. He wanted to refocus his purpose with his writing.

I told him writing, and more specifically, publishing, is all about ego. He argued that he has selfless reasons, like contributing to the substance of the universe. I told him that assuming you have something unique to contribute is inherently egotistical (even if you’re right).

Putting things out there to continue your legacy, so that you’re not forgotten, or even to contribute to the cultural zeitgeist and narrative, is an act of ego and also a crapshoot, as (like with so many things) one’s chance of being actually remembered, especially beyond the few family members who knew you or knew someone who did, is so small.

Anyway. As for my own legacy (not that people will remember me anyway) I’d like to be remembered as a person of compassion and curiosity, someone who would listen and talk and be present for who you are and not who I wish you were.

As I see many friends and family members battling illness right now, I am even more acutely reminded of my relative smallness and the depressing futility of it all. I wrote in a notebook yesterday, depressed about a very young friend’s diagnosis/prognosis, “Why bother?”

The answer came back very clearly: “Because the rest of us are still here.”

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Funny you should ask! I just wrote about this very notion in my last post... https://arrivalsanddepartures.substack.com/p/capturing-her-in-one-sentence

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What is this white supremacy?

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