"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." - F. Scott Fitzgerald's closing line to The Great Gatsby.
I begin this long awaited post with a salute to one of the all-time great authors of American literature by quoting the closing line to his classic work of fiction, "The Great Gatsby." If you're familiar with the work, you won't need me to tell you that one of its most central themes is the role our memories play in our lives. They push us, torture us, and delight us, yet as is the truth Gatsby must face, they are lost forever, and can never be relived or returned to.
Much of this blog is about reflection, I've noticed. I suppose most blogs often are. And so with the coming days (I have a lot of free time on my hands at the moment, and I'm aiming to fill it with productive activities, if not also cathartic ones such as writing in this blog) I intend to reflect on the experiences of the past month in my life. This month has been eventful for me; it has seen me travel around China, my current home, thousands of miles to different major hubs around this expansive nation. And for the most part, I did it alone, on my own. And not to boast, but considering I don't speak Chinese very well and have never been to these places before, I am most proud of my travel accomplishments. And, of course, it was an utter blast.
Thus, I have my goal set and I intend to reach it: for the next 30 days I intend to post a story, anecdote, and/or brief essay on this blog. This will no doubt be a challenge for me. Evidence of this fact can be discovered by merely scrolling down the page and observing the dates of each post and how infrequently they appear. To pass the buck around a bit, I do have censorship issues to deal with unique to this society, but I have now overcome them and nothing should stand in my way.
But there is another challenge concurrent with this goal. In documenting my trip and its magical Darian stories, I must use a new writing style that I'm certain I will not fully grasp to begin with: personal narrative. Of course I love stories, I like reading stories, I like being told stories, and I like watching stories in movies, but this will be first crack at writing them with regularity. You may realize the posts on this blog are always essays. So wish me luck.
Anyway, this dribble has been nothing but a prelude to the real meat. Without further ado, I shall begin the story telling. I imagine that's what everyone really wants.