The stones in the field with your name

I was telling Caleb about this idea.

How last time I walked by the graveyard I thought maybe if we all just had a monument somewhere in a field, we could solve a lot of problems. That right now our stones say we were here, after we’re gone. But maybe what we need is something that says we are here, while we’re still here. All of us who feel compelled by hook or by crook to make a movie, write a book, sweep the political landscape clean, tweet your tweets and blog your blogs, be something awesome before the lights go out. Maybe really we’re afraid of being forgotten forever, and if only we could solve that drive, then we wouldn’t necessarily need to throw ourselves against walls trying to create, create, create. Maybe we wouldn’t feel so drowned out by mass culture. Maybe…

We were walking by the graveyard on Clark St., the one backgrounded by teetering robot-faced high-rises.

Caleb didn’t say anything at first, and then he looked at me and pointed out that if everyone did get a little monument, and it solved our drive to create, then we’d all just be really apathetic. And that would be pretty lame.

And also: maybe there’d be a big new kind of anxiety-producing contest. This time, we’d all worry about how many people were showing up at our monument.

I hadn’t thought of that.

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