Sleep is the cure for the fatigue of living.
You are a single star in a universe of billions. A tiny pin prick of light in a sea of illumination. One story, a single thread among countless others, woven into the tapestry of our race.
There are other stories all around you. Your family, your friends. The people they know, your town, nearby cities. The cities in your state, states in your country, countries on continents. So many people. So many stories going on right now, this very moment.
Then there is the past. The seemingly endless history of stories. From the decades and centuries of recent times to the ancient civilizations and further back still to the races that pre-date our current evolutionary forms. So so many people. So so many stories.
Individually we are but a sliver of what seems an infinite past and future of people. How can we possibly imagine that those people never die, that their stories go on forever. Is there even a speck of probability that this would be the way the universe works? Matter and energy created, yet never destroyed? The person I am today, I will always be? Living on forever, in some independent existence, with all my memories and identity perpetually preserved? I don’t think so.
I think the likelihood is, that we are all made of stars, and we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun. And when they go, so do we.
I am a vessel, a cavity filled with fleshy, slippery parts. Odors and fluids encapsulated in organs all squished together inside a cage of bone and skin constitute my physical presence in this place. My myriad of parts are connected via tubes large and small carrying various chemicals and impulses throughout the networks of my being. Even now as I type this innumerable processes are occurring within my physical cavity to create the motion of my hand’s recording these words you are reading.
Is that it? Am I just this collection of slimy lumps held together by calcium, cartilage, and a dermic wrap? Is there nothing more to me? If that is the case then when I die, when this fleshy vehicle ceases to function, then that will be the end, forever. If that is true then my thoughts, memories, and individuality will be no more. Just as when I am asleep, I will no longer be aware of existing. I will no longer smell the damp earthy-clean air after the rain. I will no longer see the brilliant sun warming the east hills as it rises, and I will never again feel its rays radiating down upon my face. To all of the people I know, all who have been on my path at one time or another, I will be gone forever. Whatever words were left unspoken, whatever secrets yet untold, they will remain forever silent. I will no longer be…
Like an engine, we churn and burn our way along.
Consuming fuel, exhausting, always going.
When one engine stops, the others go on.
Engines on an engine in an engine of engines,
We all stop some day.
Sweet sweet love, why dost thou torment me so?
Or is it love at all that does the deed?
Perhaps it is but the idealism of youth and the ferver of longing itself that torments.
Perhaps it is only the question of what could be that drives me to the brink of madness with the swift coursers of obsession and yearning.
Oh have I dreamt of flinging myself in, but only to begin the slow and difficult climb back out again.
My funeral will not be typical. There will be food, and drink, and music. My music. Music that emphasizes the fleeting moment that is life, not the eternal silence that is death. I want people to be reminded to ‘be’ in the present, not lament for the past, or fear for the future. In the end, I think we finally realize that it’s all we ever really have anyway.
There are many kinds of beauty.
Some kinds will turn your head,
And some will stir your heart.
The kind that turns your head,
Won’t last for very long,
But the kind that stirs your heart,
Lives forever in your song.
In high school I was once tasked with writing a paper with ideas to reduce or resolve the national debt. Being the forward looking individual I was (and not wanting to do any *real* research), I boldly declared that eventually the world would become so densely populated that our countries would have no choice but to merge into a single unified government. At that point all the debts we have to other countries would simply cancel out, so whatever happened in the mean time wasn’t worth worrying about (such naïveté).
Of course this idea went over like *balls*.
Someone asked me recently “What do you imagine of the future (that doesn’t end in destruction from world war, global warming, or zombies)”
Really I’m hoping we can find a way to expand beyond the planet before any of those fates befall our race. Yeah, Agent Smith (of Matrix fame) is probably right; we’re like a virus that needs to spread, but it seems like there’s lots of room for that in the universe.
Maybe it’s a cop-out just like my high school national debt paper, but honestly it seems like a requirement in any long-term (as in geologic time) scenario. Roughly 5 billion years from now our sun will most likely expand into a red giant and melt whatever is left of our little blue-green home planet (assuming this *is* our home planet).
I realize of course that is a *very* large amount of time, but one must always consider the long-game (skip to the end of the argument so to speak). I know there’s also a ton of stuff to figure out (and prepare for or prevent) in the mean time. Potentially imminent things like destruction from world war, global warming, and zombies.
Thankfully, there are a lot of people working on the space problem. Though some might say they should instead be focused on fixing the above and other problems with our current planet, instead of running off to find another to trash.
I agree to an extent, but also think we still need to figure out this space colonization thing (human population expansion alone is a problem without any of the other things even taken into account). So hopefully some day in the not-too-distant future we’ll have successfully expanded our footprint a bit, even if we just end up with a ‘B’ ark out there somewhere (populating a planet with telephone sanitizers and hairdressers and such…there are worse ways to start).
Tremulous, the decision to act
Tenuous, life’s hold intact
Pendulous, time swings forth and back
I feel the pain of a thousand people. Homeless in their tents. The meditating woman on the turbulent plane.
Sometimes it’s not the pain. Sometimes it’s the weary drudgery or disease or loneliness. Sometimes it’s my own.
Maybe that’s why. Avoidance. It’s hard to think of something else. Can one feel too much? Solitude is the answer, but it is also a cause.
Balance must be the key.
Sometimes it’s not even people but things. The old plumber’s truck. The scratchy speaker buzzing out country music. Hot tire smell on an asphalt highway.
Input. Sometimes it’s all too much. But sometimes it’s welcome. Sometimes it’s not enough. Attention, concern, interest, shared experience. All missing in isolation.
Where is that balance?
And worst of all…time. It just keeps going regardless of any and all of the above.
Gotta ride it. Try to balance on it and ride. Steer and follow. Decide and accept.
That is all that can be done about, with, and for it.