Sunday, March 22, 2009

paying the piper


It feels like it doesn't even matter how pretty you are, how talented you are, how creative you are, how well-rounded you are, how accomplished you are. It doesn't matter how well you dress, how well you write, how well you speak, how well you present yourself. It doesn't matter that you can cook, that you can play the piano, write poetry, write music, paint, draw, craft, make jewelery, study brain cancer, read Dante, carve linoleum, sew, run 6 and a half miles, carry conversations with 90-year-olds, design and run your own lab experiments, teach 3-year-olds how to swim...

They might as well all be lies once they look at the numbers. In so many cases, quality seems to mean nothing without being qualified by quantity. A numerical qualifier. The cold, hard truth. Because everything else is a lie, a facade. A coverup for the all the ways that you tried, because trying never shows.

You have to pay the pied piper of The Next Phase of Life with your mark, your proof of existence, your impish, fickle, insufferable GPA, that insatiable and self-indulgent MCAT score, that cold, hard number that means everything but you wish meant nothing. And when you fail to pay up, he steals your soul. And while you're pied-piping your way through "For whom does this matter?" and "To what end must I continue to sell my soul?", you lose yourself anyway, whether you know it or not.

We're all just chasing after something that's intrinsically ephemeral. We just need something to reach for, something to strive for, something to belong to. We're all trying to make it as something, to be something, to matter. We want so badly to qualify, yet all we know is how to quantify. We want recognition, we want to be significant. We just want to create meaning out of all this chaos and uncertainty. We want to be remembered. We can't stomach the idea of being forgotten.

We're all just chasing after permanence.


  1. Hmmm,

    hate to crash the party, but my eyes were itchy.

    "we're all just chasing after something that's intrinsically ephermeral."
    "we're all just chasing after permanence."

    if that's true, then permanence is intrinsically epheremal.

    what does the scanner see?