do not read
Gail Boenning
417

do read, please.

It won’t be meaningful — do it anyway.

The implication is false, things do not need “a point” to have meaning — and they don’t even need a discernable meaning to have value.

I like your start, I really do — we’re on the same page here, but I think you can go a little bit further.

I love to use tipless pencils to add texture to paintings. You dip the hole into paint (I think this only works on acrylic) and drag it across the area you intend to fill. The inside deposits paint kind of like a fountain pen, while the edges of the wood trace thin lines of negative space into intricate patterns. Go try it. Your pencils will never need a point again.

Stories without meaning are the best stories. (My personal writing goal is actually to write a complete, satisfying, meaningless story about nothing, that still has literary merit.) As readers we have been trained to always look for the moral — but we don’t learn nearly as much from the moral as we do trying to find it. Life’s meaning and morals are not easy to find… We should have stories like that, about confusion and hope and questions without answers.

Don’t worry about what the trip to the grocery store was intended to accomplish. Don’t even worry about what it did accomplish. Did you enjoy the time you spent? … and does the trip even need to do anything to justify it’s existence? LET IT LIVE. You don’t need to infuse every minute of your life with purpose.

The “point” of it all can change, but it doesn’t need too. We don’t need a bigger picture to live by with some grand scheme laced with purpose and intention… There is no one universal “meaning of life”, there are many options of course — and you’re welcome to pick a favorite — but we don’t need to waste our time deciding which purpose most fully enhances our world.

An object, a story, or even a life without a point is not a sad wasted thing. It is just as wonderful, just as joyous — even if the why and how of it all are not so easily defined.

If I’m allowed to summerise, in an ironic fashion,

YOUR POINT: If the point of the task is missing, look around, create a new one.

MY POINT: If the point of the task is missing, that works too, purpose is not essential.

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