Writing Love Letters vs. Being a Unicorn
Face-time is important. TOUCH is important. Knowing real people is important.
But then there's me.
Some of us are unicorns, hiding in plain sight. We've been burned by popular society since we were old enough to form opinions, and we've been advised to fit in. Just be normal.
Make do with what you got is the Girl Scout motto; I learned that very well. But I see beautiful things in the world and in my own mind, and when I try to share them I get deer-in-the-headlights stares at best, called crazy at worst. Normal people seem to have no imagination, or they eschew it for their own reasons.
At this point in my life I realise that every thing I believed when I was 7 years old contained a kernel of truth. All my fruitless efforts to fit in (which only resulted in further bullying) brought me to now: I am what I am, and the fact that some people don't get me does not diminish my value.
I barely understand myself, but I love the undiscovered territory of me. I can see why me wouldn't be for everyone.The number of humans in proximity who do get me and who enjoy my company is very slim. The number of people who tolerate me is slightly bigger. Should I be content, then, with mere tolerance? It feels so empty.
But even if we do fail to understand ourselves, there need not be any Gödelian "twist" behind it; it could be simply an accident of fate that our brains are too weak to understand themselves. Think of the lowly giraffe, for instance, whose brain is obviously far below the level required for self-understanding - yet it is remarkably similar to our own brain. In fact, the brains of giraffes, elephants, baboons - even the brains of tortoises or unknown beings who are far smarter than we are - probably all operate on basically the same set of principles. Giraffes may lie far below the threshold of intelligence necessary to understand how those principles fit together to produce the qualities of mind; humans may lie closer to that threshold, perhaps just barely below it, perhaps even above it. The point is that there may be no fundamental (i.e., Gödelian) reason why those qualities are incomprehensible; they may be completely clear to more intelligent beings. - Dr. D.R.H. , from Gödel, Escher, Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid
So, no, a thousand times no. I should not be content with empty.
Before internet, people wrote letters. There's probably some value in the thought that DNA attached itself to the paper as the letter was written, and by extrapolation one made the most minimal contact with a loved one far away. Paper is tangible and beautiful; exotic. The very act of writing a letter on paper is an act of love. I'd like to say I'm going to write letters to my fellow unicorns but I'm mail-challenged; I'm a family joke in that regard. Don't hold your breath - I still love you, though.
Evil internet has the benefit of fast response. Your letter mails itself; the recipient doesn't have to wait for it to arrive at the mailbox. The absence of physical contact is mitigated with meeting of the minds, assuming you know someone you can email whose mind meets yours. What works for people of diminished capacity also works for me: I can have my ill-formed ideals validated, and I appreciate you for coming back. I'm here every week.
I just spent 4 days and 1800 miles hugging people with whom I communicate regularly via internet. Some of them I've known for decades, but only online. Our face-meeting was ethereal, and we are all still connected, pixellated. We are very real, no matter how much time it takes to make physical contact again.
Make do with what you got; internet will one day be replaced by something new and different. I am truly alive today because I can communicate with people I can't touch with my hands but I can with my heart, with my words.
Thank you for giving my words a place to land. If you want me to write you a letter, message me your address and I will try.
Don't hold your breath, though ;) This could take a while.