the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Lara Connor ’22
Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” was never intended for public consumption. For that reason, it has long enthralled, encouraged and escaped me. The emperor’s private thoughts delineated the little impact he would have on the next inevitable instances in the dwindling days left to call yourself alive. Had he spoken with such humility publicly, it’s expected that his empire would have been struck and besieged by those who gleaned him weak, sorely confident, and ill-fitted for defense. Dying under the impression he’d be taking his words with him, they have posthumously directed readers to meditate on their own insignificant — but not unimportant — role in the world.
Never mind Marcus and the history lessons that don’t belong in the Writer’s Block and further to my titled point: I have no idea what to write about.
A lie of many which I have recently told myself.
Six weeks ago, I stood stage left in Andrew’s and instructed the student body to attack and pursue the passions that may make them uncomfortable or unworthy as writing has, in the past, for me. I have not been living true to this instruction. I have been cowering to the truths in my head, scratching out derivatives and my ill-fated conjugations of the preterite tense, rather than falling into bed with the keyboard and limitless transcription at my fingertips. If I were to fall, I’d be slipping first, lurching in and out of the controlled prose that my mind starves, feeds, teases and rewards my body with. The title of this piece would be “You Can’t Have That, and other lies” and I’d write about how
Dad once lamented the cereal aisle
my Farmer's special secret summer snack cabinet
the full jars of Nutella in the pantry
(more so the empty ones)
how Americans have been tricked
like the Democrats now and the Native Americans then
to eat dessert for breakfast
He never knew that these grievances would grow
more addictive than sugar
So why haven’t I written that yet and why did I do it just now when this Candlelight Edition goes to print tomorrow? And am I going to scrap it and tell Mr. Court that I’m just burnt out and promise to do better next time, a sentiment nearly as detrimentally deceptive as “You Can’t Have That?” And does it even make sense? And did Marcus Aurelius save himself a lot of trouble by just waiting to die before everyone descended upon his cloaked fragility? And does what I say even matter because I know better than anyone that the voice — my Dad calls her Rachael — doesn’t care about what’s best for you. And now I have another title in mind.
“Your World Becomes Bigger when You Become Smaller and other lies.”
Maybe next time. I have derivatives to do.