Balckwell Manifesto #4 – January, 2021

I find that I spend much less time nowadays thinking of my past. It used to be that I would spend hours of days recreating past circumstances, trying to return to my mind those lost emotions – emotions which felt so much more real than their present counterparts, due to their being frozen in time, encased in an immovable bubble that provided them solidity and clarity, as opposed to the malleability and transience that characterizes the here and now. My past is, in essence, a work of fiction, that I may read at my own leisure, while my current life is a manuscript, a work-in-progress, the writing of which brings with it the struggle and pain of creation. I am, these days, more of a writer than a reader, if you will. I remain an avid reader, but now I read not so much for escape but for inspiration. I read because the more I allow beautiful words and ideas into my mind, the more it becomes a rich, flowering garden, from which I may pluck delicious fruits as I laze within its luxurious grounds – fruits that provide the foundations for Works of which I will one day be so fond.

As it stands right now, these Works are but a pain in my side, a bee in my bonnet, and a sword in my back. My goal is to become one of the greatest writers to ever live. This is, of course, pure vanity. I often say that I lack ambition, but I find that I must now reveal the truth, which is that I aspire to a glory so high and vaunted as to possibly not even exist. Perhaps it is as they say, and the Age of the Novel is over. If this is the case, so be it. This fact changes nothing of the ferocity with which I approach my mission. In fact, its impossibility only increases its honour in my eyes.

I am a writer of novels. It is not my job; it is not my hobby. It is my vocation. I would not go as far as to say that it is what I am best at; instead, I would say that it is the only thing I am capable of doing. Over the years of my life, it has become increasingly clear to me that any other course is impossible. This is not to say that in some alternative reality, such courses may not have made me happy, or been met with success. In certain circumstances, I am sure that I could competently perform a wide variety of activities. However, in the specific circumstances that make up my existence on this planet, at this time in its lifespan, all these courses are closed to me. It is nothing about my social or economic position that bars me; it is instead some aspect of my own mind. Perhaps it has been poisoned, or perhaps it alone contains an antidote that frees me from other poisons – either way, due to what 19th century doctors might describe as my “nervous disorder,” or 21st century psychologists might describe as my “mental illness,” I find myself woefully ill-prepared for the lifestyle that many might term “normal.” For many years, I blamed this on my own stupidity.

Well, the words that we use inside of our head have immense power, and this word “stupidity” brought with it a self-restraining paralysis that was of no use to anybody, least of all myself. Nowadays, I choose not to call myself stupid. I do not call myself anything at all. I simply accept that I am the way that I am, and repeat to myself the adage: “It takes all kinds to make the world go round.” My kind, I admit, is one whose usefulness for maintaining the rotation of the Earth is difficult to recognize, but I, like many others, take the word ‘all’ to mean ‘each and every one,’ and logically speaking, this must necessarily include my kind as well.

All this is to say that I no longer consider it my duty to spend quite so much time reflecting on my life in order to determine what, exactly, “my problem” is. This time I now spend trying to determine what “my problem” will be – i.e. what disastrous circumstances might befall me in the future and make it readily apparent that my decision to make no money and forego the “building of a career” is a foolish one. This is futile time wasted, I know, and it is one of my primary short-term goals to eradicate such thoughts completely, allowing myself to focus exclusively on the composition of my Works.

‘What Works are these, exactly?’ you may ask. You may look around this website and see no works able to justify such an audacious renunciation of civil duty, instead seeing exclusively the confused, amateurish writings of a young man with an overblown sense of his own importance. In which case, you may chalk this entire project up to simple egoism! Well! I can’t help but admit that this judgement is a sound and reasonable one! All I can say in my defence is that a man’s life has the potential to be quite long, and I am trying my best to continually improve. If I fail in my goal of becoming one of the greatest writers to ever live, I consider that failure a more worthwhile use of a lifetime than success in any other pursuit. If I die having contributed nothing of artistic value to the universe, I will at least be able to say that I did no harm, and on top of that, I managed, at times, to enjoy myself.

I believe wholeheartedly that the creation of Beautiful Works is in itself a positive act, and that such an act is the most positive that I, as myself, can perform. This is not to the neglect of more tangible acts, such as being affectionate and generous towards my loved ones, and to a lesser extent, the entire portion of the human population that I come into contact with. My egoism does not extend to the social sphere; I consider it my duty as a responsible human being to behave in a virtuous manner towards whomever I am able. I love everyone. I love everyone, although many are twisted, evil, malicious creatures, and the structures and systems they create facilitate wickedness on a scale that no single individual could possible conceive. I can not help but be a human being, and as such, I can not help but feel a certain amount of love for all other human beings. I hope that you can understand.

It is on this note that I end this update to the ever-evolving Balckwell Manifesto. It is my hope that this document will continue to grow and change over the years, reflecting the contents of my soul and the system by which I govern my actions. I extend a hearty Happy New Year to all denizens of the Soup Web, and many happy returns. My greatest hope is that I can one day do you all proud

– Balckwell

Strangers

“I have never seen these people before, and I know not who they are.”

“They are the people you once were, in a past world. They live in your apartment building with you, but they keep from your sight like rats in a cave, appearing before you only on days such as today, when you have proven yourself to be resolute and pure of heart. They appear before you as a reward: the reward is the reminder of how far you have come. Seeing where you were lifts your spirits, and confirms that the way you have chosen is correct. To be virtuous, to be pure of heart, to be free from Gravity, is the course that leads to an especial glorified blessed existence among the stars.

Those shadows you see: when they are alone, they say, “Zoom up!” and they zoom, and are burned in the fires of the atmosphere, and their bones they burn too, and are blackened and sent down to Earth again as soot, dark as a moonless night. Their way is perverse and horrid, and they seek to make it to the starry world as by a shortcut.

Be not like them, my young friend, but stay your course. Though it seem difficult, though it seem trying, and though it seem that Gravity pushes you down at a rate of approx. 9m/s², the truth is that your path is the easiest and most fruitful.”