Once upon a time, I gazed into the future and wondered my place. I knew then that I would be in a position of stability, as I knew how secure those who had the education I sought were, in turn, sought by the industry. It was an uncommon privilege, and I made good on it, more of less.
But that was nearly half a life-time ago, when I first knew my place on this path was secured. It wasn't easy to walk it, but it happened and I completed it, more than a decade ago.
The time since then has rarely been easy, but every hardship has been something I could understand and overcome.
Now, what of it?
I find the movement to inspiration so difficult. I have, for some time, thought that my present-day dysphoria is because I "forgot" something from my past. Tonight, during the ritual, I may have unearthed it: I have lost the magic.
When I was a child, I always loved the wizards of fantasy worlds. As a nerd, it spoke to me that someone who wasn't the physical paragon of their age could still turn around to move worlds though their understanding of the world, though study.
So, I became that. I spent my life learning the nature of the machine and becoming a force to be reckoned with when it came to understanding the machine or the abstract logic of the craft.
After a few years in my professional career, I was sought as a member of an all-star team of great creators to define the next generation of my area of technology (by several years the youngest of my companions). I loved the world in that fray. I loved those who fought the same problems, at my side, and I loved my commander. He eventually came to call me one of his "heavy artillery": someone who you send into an impassible problem to break it open for the rest of our legion. Together, we redefined the world of our technology. We were like gods, standing together at the whiteboard. Those days, at IBM, were thoroughly engaging. If the religious could have experienced that era, they would have no need for gods, as they would be them.
Then, things changed. I left that world. I entered one which disappointed me, so I left. I decided to forge my own world. It was beautiful, but I couldn't sell the idea.
I tended it, until I was drawn to something which sounded like that old world. It was/is good.
But, in the moments outside of work, I can have engagement. I have grown to find the taste of this fray sour. Why? Why would the single defining element of my life become empty? Is my life to end? I am still healthy and I still have responsibilities so that seems a bit premature (we will talk, again, after the Ash cat has completed a long and happy life).
I think I realize what I have lost. It is the magic. In the space ignorance occupied there was something else: dreams. Magic consumes dreams to give them form. While banishing ignorance was arguable a good thing, I miss the dreams and the magic which were swept away with it.
Without those things, all problems are small and solved, all life is without meaning.
The 90s was an unusually magical era. Maybe the last we could ever have. I miss the dreams and dreamers of that era. They don't miss me, it seems, or they could have come for me. After all, I do little to hide myself from those who look for me.