Conor P. Williams writes to his newborn child:
Humans are many things; we are users, choosers, planners, dreamers, and so much more. No one of these roles defines us on its own. We are a multitude of different potentials. And many of these roles reveal us to be cruel and selfish. … We are ingenious justifiers of our basest instincts. We are destructive dissemblers, though we rarely recognize it.
But—and now I’m finally getting back to you—we are best when we are creators. We have strange, unpredictable capacities for transcending our own petty selves and their concerns. From time to time, we astonish ourselves by making something that is unquestionably good. From time to time, we produce beauty that is almost wholly illuminated by the wild possibilities therein contained. From time to time we produce such shining potential that the daily grind of human life becomes not just tolerable, but comprehensible. From time to time, we produce miracles.
It is no accident that our most sublime moments usually burst forth from partnership. Human love is the only antidote to our selfishness. It forms the other option of our lives. We flit through time, living at turns for ourselves or for others…but our greatest triumphs always come with the latter. We are best when we love.
(Photo by Anthony Kelly)