Several years ago, I used to write creatively for fun. I primarily wrote poetry and short stories. The most enjoyable aspect of this, outside of the creative release, was coming up with the idea. Every poem and story had a message. Some of my stuff was shit… probably more than I would like to admit! But the process was exhilarating. To conjure up new and old stories and delicately put it on paper for all to read. Most themes were pretty similar: life, love, loss—the usual suspects. A lot of times I had these half-assed ideas for a story and couldn’t find a way to properly share it. One in particular has stuck with me for some reason and I realize I keep coming up with different stories that have the same underlying message: what happens after you die. Now I’m not talking about the afterlife…that’s a whole new blog post for someone else to write. More specifically, I am fascinated with the legacy that everyone leaves behind. This is the conceptual idea that I had way back when. The original idea was a young boy walking along an empty beach during low tide. The boy was fascinated with the number of footprints he saw along his journey. He noticed the different shapes, sizes, and locations of the prints. He was most amazed with how deep the print was in the sand. As a child, he decided to sit down and play in the sand and let his imagination run wild. Soon, he started picturing other kids and their parents running up and down the beach. Everyone was enjoying themselves. The water hit his legs as he lay in the land and awoke him from his dream. Again, the boy was alone on the beach. He stood up and continued his journey, only this time something had changed. He turned around, and to his amazement, all of the footprints were gone. He could not remember their shape or size. He could not remember where they were each located on the beach. Devastation sunk in when the boy realized that everything and everyone fades with time.
I know what you’re thinking: name the kid, throw in some dialogue, and end the story with “I see dead people” and you’ve got the next blockbuster from M. Night Shyamalan, the Sixth Sense Part 2. Okay, now I really know what you’re thinking: M. Night Shyamalan never had any blockbusters… A few years after myself and M. Night came up with this idea, I have had several other thoughts for stories. When I was writing down my thoughts, it hit me how similar the messages were between stories. For instance, I thought of coming up with some story about the vapor trails that planes leave behind. For a while, the trail is visible to all. In time, the trail fades and soon disappears into the sky. I have questioned why this is a recurring concept for me without a clear answer. In the end, it could be attributed to a number of explanations—but my life story is another tale. For now, all you have to know is that I’ve sent a copy of my story to Shyamalan. He has yet to contact me for my second draft…
Do you have any thoughts or ideas that have stayed with you for a good portion of your life? Please share below, we’d love to hear your experiences!