The other day, I discovered that I can go on a virtual visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, or any other famous museum of the world. I can go to restaurants, classrooms on college campuses, balconies with a view of the sun setting under New York City, or almost any other place, in vivid, shockingly realistic, high-definition visuals on Google Maps. I can zoom out, and out, and out, and see the whole sphere of Earth suspended in an endlessness of nothingness and stars. One part of the earth is in darkness, and if I drag Earth to just the right angle, I can see the other half illuminated by an ethereal glowing star millions of miles away. I can tilt Earth again and see the band of the Milky Way beneath, some indescribable distance away.
I spin Earth, stop it, and begin to arbitrarily zoom in, and in, and in. I am now in North America, flying to Nova Scotia, which is tainted with waves of red from an endless sea of trees. I happen to land in a parking lot off of a highway in Halifax. I notice a rainbow-striped tent and a concession stand: I am at a carnival, perhaps. It is quite a dizzying experience, to see the smallness of Earth in the grand scene of the universe and then observe a snapshot of human life, which, despite its apparent insignificance, continues to just be; and despite the overbearing vertigo of the nature of our existence, it can still appear motionless and even peaceful.
Of course, Google Maps has not always been so existentially cognizant. As a child, one of my favorite pastimes consisted of using Google Maps to walk through streets of my town and attempt to discern through the heavily pixelated images various buildings I had known. The entirely of Earth at that time had been a map similar to the one seen in elementary school classrooms. Most humans believe that the earth is round: unavoidably round. Trying to create a two-dimensional model of it would be like trying to flatten an orange peel. Such a model with inevitably rip apart. This map appears gaudy and childish in comparison to the new model of Google Maps, yet my ten-year-old mind had been blown away by its implications and its vastness.
It has been almost a month since I last posted on my blog. The eventual death that came with that final post, which was coincidentally on the topic of decay, was the finality of a process that had started sometime in mid November: I had become disillusioned with the whole procession of blogging. I had begun to notice more and more what blogging really is: an efficient microcosm for people to jostle for attention. Because that is what is really at the core of human desire. On one particular planet among millions, zooming through space and shrouded in uncertainty, one can still focus in on some small area of the word, such as a circus tent surrounded by highway and autumn foliage or a personalized internet address in an almost infinite cyberspace, and feed on the illusion of significance. In reality, my internet presence was just a shy and tentative suggestion of my existence: a whisper drowned out by a thunderous cry for attention, but I don’t think any of us really know what to do here.
Today I dug up the remains of my blog, my child, my “Kat’s Observations.” I was saddened to see how lonely it had become: it was now just another abandoned blog. It was now just one more dead leaf on the winter pavement: forgotten. What I saw reminded me of that outdated version of Google Maps. It all just seems like a pretty display now; I cannot discern myself behind it all. Where am I? But I have also realized that I cannot allow my writing to exist only in the void of my mind and a few lines of unseen, intangible code behind a screen. That makes me feel invisible. I don’t want to be invisible. Perhaps I have been reading too much into metaphysics, but being invisible is exactly the faith that I want to pretend does not exist.
As such I restart my journey as a blogger.