|Posted by titantv on January 15, 2014 at 10:25 AM|
Adviser's Note: Danner Gouge has been a member of The Iliad and Titan News staffs for nearly three years and has served as in an editorial capacity for the majority of that time. By the end of January 2014, he will be in training to become a U.S. Marine. His leadership and his remarkable gift for the written word will be missed in the the newsroom. We wish him the best.
A Column by Danner Gouge
To Whom It May Concern,
If you’re reading this, I guess I’m gone… or dead… hopefully the previous, but I’m just going to cover my bases and include the worst. Now comes the time to address my final document to McDowell High. My last byline is as follows:
Three years, a blink in the eye of history. A moment in an expansion of time stretching further than anyone alive today can remember, and even then is seen simply as a grain of sand in the Sahara. My moment here holds everything I have done, and in the archives lay each story, each column, each word that I as a writer have produced.
This, my closing column, is to define my existence. Such a grand expression towards a simple grouping of words, but in the same hand this grouping of words is a touch of the person I am. The words I write, the feeling of the words as they emerge on the page almost on their own, seen to create themselves, and group into truly mesmerizing ideas that I myself cannot sometimes comprehend. I heard the words by Tim Minchin once, “This is my brain, and I live in it.” Often have I thought about this very idea, and often have I given up very shortly after with nothing to show for my mental struggle but a headache.
But, here recently I finally figured out that I do indeed live in my brain. I live in here amongst the ideas, the memories, and of course, the words. Those words are what you read of me. Those words are what you see of me. All that I am is expressed through the words which I place on paper and use in language. So, from my brain, I conclude my existence. Not in the eternal scheme of things, that would be morbid, but in the part of me that lives on through these words.
Who I am, who I was, and all the added phrasing in between is cataloged by page number, sectioned by bylines, and divided by topic sentences. The words make up the writer, not the other way around. This language was here long before me, and I owe these words to that language. That brings to mind one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain, “Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” And the cool thing, that’s true too. What would I be, where would I be, if I took for granted the things and the people that make me who I am?
Each person that developed me as a writer, each teacher that critiqued my essays, and each person who gave me feedback on my stories and columns is truly to thank for this piece. They are as much a part of it as I am, tucked back here in my little brain. So thank you to all those who read this and know they too are a part of writing it. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I always found the hardest part of writing to be when to stop. When did I reach the proper place to stop my idea because the reader finally got my point? But this time, it just feels right. It feels like it’s time to stop. It feels like it has finally reached that point in which I can lay my pen down and smile at the work I’ve done. I push myself back from the desk, sigh, stand up, and walk away from everything.