Identifying beginnings

My father spends a lot of time telling me that the first draft is the hardest. According to him that’s the thing that takes the effort. Apparently any idiot can make something better, it’s the beginnings that are the problem. I think he has a point. Which is that the beginnings are hard.

I think something that makes beginnings hard is the amount of pressure there is on them to be new. It’s almost as if, because it is the beginning it has to have no contact with the past. Perhaps that’s the flaw. In trying to create something new we forget to that while we are doubtless molecularly distinct to what we were say even a minute ago, we carry with us the memory and the history of what was.

Which is why Identity is a strange thing. But then, people are even stranger. Not the least because they expect identities to be static. For them to stay, for them to remain steadfast, for them to still be relevant when everything that made them relevant is gone. Having said that, they can be helpful little things; serve as reminders of who we used to be, act as roadmaps of where we’re headed next, provide us with an arsenal of possibilities when faced with situations unknowable and unknown.

I don’t tend to identify myself very often. But then, I don’t need to. Other people tend to do that a lot. Most of the identifiers that are applied to me aren’t chosen by me, and if I did have the option would not necessarily be the ones I’d choose to identify myself by. Which I think is part of why identifiers and identities are powerful as well as dangerous. If I pick them, they say something about me; if you pick them they say something about you; if they get picked often enough and applied willy-nilly, they say something about the state of the world.

So the more things change, the more they remain the same.

To beginnings in repetition and repetitious beginnings: happy birthday blog and happy birthday me.

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3 comments on “Identifying beginnings

  1. Meghna says:

    If I pick them, they say something about me; if you pick them they say something about you; if they get picked often enough and applied willy-nilly, they say something about the state of the world.
    — love it.
    Someone once told me, “you can edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page” so i guess the thing is not just to begin but to keep going. Happy blogging!

    • brownflotsam says:

      Thank you! I have made a commitment to writing one post each week. So let’s hope I keep to that. Speaking of which, hope your elephant is doing well and the being written into the world.

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