For fear of getting too meta about my post today, I’m writing this text inside a program called “Write or Die.” The program asks you to enter a word-count and a time in which you want to write those words; e.g. I entered 300 words in 20 minutes. If you don’t meet your word-count in the allotted time, you are punished in several different ways depending on the setting you choose. In the setting I am using, when I stop writing, my words are cannibalized–i.e. one-by-one, the cursor gobbles up what I wrote.
I think the name of the program should be “Write and Die.” Even if we keep writing, even if we make our word-count (I hit mine a while back), we still die. The only difference–should we reach our objectives–is there might be a record, albeit a brief one, of our existence.
It’s a strange father’s day for me. I am going to be a father in about 5 weeks. My wife and I are readying ourselves for an amazing journey. At the same time, my father is dying. Complications from cancer are rapidly eating up his body. He is considering letting nature take over. He’ll stop eating and drinking until his body completely shuts down, not unlike closing down programs before a computer shuts down. This may happen in the next week or two.
I am one of many things my father made in the countdown timer of his life. He also made another son. He made a wife happy. He made a stand for the environment. He made an army of friends. He made lots of art (you can check it out here). These are the records he is leaving before his timer runs out.
About 8 months ago, I helped make a human. In about a month, I will make a son (he will make a father). I plan to make many more things before my timer runs out.
And perhaps the only thing we can do in the interval between birth and death is write our stories, craft our art, sing our songs, make our families, to leave some record of how much we cared and loved.
Happy father’s day dad.