Charm. Appeal. Magnetism.
What draws you to people?
Their beauty? Their talents? Their lifestyles?
Perhaps it’s how they make you feel, what they can teach you or can give you that few others can.
Maybe it’s simply their aura that pulls you in, their body of work that speaks for itself or the people they surround themselves with.
They exude energy — it’s palpable.
You can’t take your eyes off ’em, your head swivels toward ’em, your ears perk up for ’em.
They have that “it” factor, laced with charisma and grace.
They’re not perfect — don’t get me wrong — but they’ve got that special something that people just can’t ignore. They command the floor, light up the stage. The curtains don’t close on ’em until they’ve had their piece.
Cameras roll past, “Cut!” Spectators stay peeled. Critics hone in.
The focus is on them. Whether they realize it or not, they roar into vision, no matter how puny their role is. Their moves are scrutinized — their decisions, dissected — their eccentricities, magnified.
They become “larger than life.” Tabloids speak behind their backs. Paparazzi hound them, wherever they go.
They aren’t all necessarily celebrities, per se — but they attract attention, nonetheless. Wherever they go, fame is not far behind. Whatever they do, the commotion lingers.
I’m not talking about role models, either. No, those are just biased perceptions of people that have lived their lives in their own unique ways — “success stories” that others wish to emulate. The breed I’m talking about are different.
The characters I’m talking about are the ones producers make movies about, historians make documentaries about, fans make stories about.
The stand-outs. The eccentrics. The admired…as well as the demonized.
The people people marvel.
No matter who they are — great or terrible — because no person is so flawed that one is without a single redeeming quality, and no person is so flawless that one is without a single flaw whatsoever.
For that is what it means to be a human being.
They reside, we reside, in the realm between angels and demons; we are not one or the other. We are both.
Strengths and weaknesses — we have them all. Prayers and curses — we cast them each. Trust and betrayal — we commit the pair throughout our lifetimes.
We remember some people and forget many. Just look at our history books and at how few people are mentioned from the breadth of our collective, human history.
What are their stories, the forgotten? What were their lives like? What exactly did they do?
Oblivion. Long forgotten. Missing…forever.
The memory only lasts so long — no one survives forever, literally, figuratively. That is the cold, hard truth about our fragile existence as a species.
You, me, our loved ones. We’ll all be gone. One day.
What will be left in this world will be the future generation, but even then, there’ll be no guarantee that one’s family tree transcends the test of time.
Da Vinci, Christ, Muhammad. They’re the special ones who “live on.”
Most — and I really mean most — of us just pass on to the hereafter, and that’s that.
Leaving no legacy, no descendants, no possessions after a good millennia or two have passed, unless you’re one of the above guys.
Charm. Appeal. Magnetism.
The only people that can remember those traits would be long gone. Pictures, videos, art — all lost in the fires of circumstance and floods of time.
“…so what’s the point?” you ask.
Well…to say, “I was here.”
I came, I saw, I lived. So what if the world doesn’t remember me? I know for a fact that I lived in this world, made a mark upon its proverbial sands and experienced a part of its vast history, firsthand.
To know that wherever my adventure takes me, I’m gonna carry my memories of this place with me after I’ve long left its shores. To hell with dementia, my existence speaks for itself — I was here — and I lived.
I’m gonna remember it all while I can because my life is precious to me, and no matter what my legacy becomes — if it even materializes at all — I’m gonna savor every last bit of time I have in this realm.
I’ve heard of the odds of being born — they border on the “miraculous.”
I like my odds there too.
Somehow I wrote another piece about the meaning of life without intending to at the beginning. As I wrote, though, I somehow just ended up going in that direction again. Hope it was…worthwhile to whoever’s reading this, though, so…thanks again for listening to me ramble for a while about the same topic.
If you didn’t read my first piece and have no idea what I’m even talking about, my sincerest apologies! I can send you there with this link here: “Life: Loading…“
See you next time,
Cover. Courtesy of Lantern Entertainment, okidokivideos, under Fair Use. Clip from My Week with Marilyn (2011).