I find myself in a ridiculous position. Perhaps you can relate?
At various points in time, we are all in ridiculous positions. It begins with being born and continues, without letup, until we “shuffle off this mortal coil” (in the words of my father in a flippant mood).
If I am truly being honest and thorough, it doesn’t end even then. Decay is a supremely fantastical spectacle. Even more fantastic is the reconstruction that occurs in the minds of others. Ask the “survived by” to relate their fondest memories, and you will be left looking around (Travolta-in-Pulp Fiction-style) for any resemblance to the deceased.
I digress. You asked for a personal statement, not a birth-to-death statement. Presumably, then, you are only interested in the before-and-after immediately relevant to your perspective on this moment in time.
You want to know why.
Why? Why I am a good candidate. Why I am a good fit. Why you want me, why you spend time reading this, why we have any reason to be connected (to intersect) beyond shared strains of DNA and probability in an (possibly?) infinite universe. Shall I mention the Drake Equation?
(Note to self: I shall not. This is no more than one page and the critical analysis would require quite a few appendices and a bibliography.)
The weight of this question presses on me. I am stacked, no more than a breath or a second in time, apart from others who share my atoms and desires. I am pressed between my past and future, the needs of the planet and the gaze of the sun.
My great-grandmother was named Stella. She spoke Polish and English; she tricked history in appearance and procedure. Her daughter was Dolores (in the Spanish manner) – “sorrowful one”. Her daughter had a son. Then her daughter married. Then her daughter had a son and then a daughter. Her son died, her daughter lived; her first-born son was lost (until he found himself). Her daughter planted a rosebush when she couldn’t have a child, and found a child as she lost parts of herself. Her daughter had the name Rose, and another name besides; two parts, each separate and together, thorn that bleeds and flower that breaks walls.
I write as history presses me forward. I write for what could be lost, not in the past but in the future: the futures that don’t yet know they exist. Show a future, and it becomes a possibility; speak a future with enough conviction, and it becomes a probability – like finding intelligent life. Just ask Dr. Drake.
In this book, this world,
We are each no more than one page – prelude to the next. Turn us.