Life is a journey. A long walk on the clock that ticks and tocks the pacing of each step. One foot, two foot. Red foot, blue foot. Down gravel roads, over hills, through the grass until long and at last we reach the final cliff of destiny. We stand in stunned realization that we wandered long and hard and far only to end up here staring at one final sunset, moon-rise, star-sky or whatever otherwise; then step off the cliff as we die. What lies beyond we don’t know – and really do we even care?
In starting that first paragraph I had a horrible realization – and then realized that life is simply a series of horrible realizations. Here are my ten core horrible realizations plus one :
10) Nothing you do matters. Yeah you can tell me that it does, but really stop and think about it. Everything is ephemeral, and the digital world is even more ephemeral. What I just wrote and posted will float for one mill-second on the pond scum called the internet, and then bloop down into the undertow. Gone into the search optimization of page 3. Name one thing that you have done that will be here in 100 years. Congratulations you – my good human – are a freak.
9) Everything you do has been done before. Horatio there is nothing new under the sun – you just haven’t dreamt about it yet! We are simply rinse, recycle, repeat. Yes it looks all shiny and new after the rinse cycle – but really? Been there; done that; and bought the postcards. autumn, winter, spring, summer – down we forget as up we grew.
8) There are only 7 plots. That is it. All stories can be told by using those 7 plots. All lives are lived mixing and matching those 7 plot lines. And then we are buried in one and six-feet under the rest. Headstone marking the epitaph that says “here lies one who was born, wondered, wandered, loved, lost, cried and died.”
7) No matter what you have it will be lost. Do you remember saving up for that special something whatzit whozit wonderous dodad dingus phenomenon on om mahna mahna. Can you tell me where it is now? And how special is it now? Okay you saved it and put it on a shelf and still have it – well wasn’t that a hell of a lot of fun? Why not just take a picture it will last long… OH wait no it won’t!
6) Whatever you remember is wrong. Ever have that conversation with someone about that really cool shared experience and realize that maybe you really weren’t at the same event after all? If you thought digital was ephemeral – just stop and think about thoughts. Fleeting flitting ephemeral memory forever. The beauty of memory is that it does fade – so all that pain and living and bleeding becomes happy bubblegum and rainbows. Eventually.
5) Nature is relentless. We eco-conscious, green-eyed with wonder and longing for the “natural world” of another time and place – forget that the real nature of nature is harsh, cruel, wild and oh so very hungry. Go on go. Get back to nature and live with the wolves. I dare ya. Final score? Wolves 1; You? Dinner.
4) People are selfish assholes. By design of course – it is how we survive. How we succeed, move ahead, accumulate, control, possess, thrive. It is the heart and soul of ambition. And without ambition we would all still be dealing with Number 5 above – and watching the wolves eat our children as they slip from womb to doom. Oh you say in gleeful chortle to prove me wrong – what about the human quality of altruism and charity? Yeah right. You really think that is all self-less and without a Machiavellian underpinning? I’ll scratch your back – and OH! Oh now I own you! Altruism is just the gateway to guilty long-term manipulation.
3) No one really cares about you – for you. Oh sure they bring you flowers, and offer tokens of appreciation, and say sweet savory words of delight. All designed to make your heart grow three size too big and kill you from congestive heart failure. Or make you drop your pants so you can satisfy some itch that exists in their own pants. “Oh sweetie you are so wonderful, here I brought you flowers which will now die and never produce offspring – and OH speaking of offspring lets get naked and plant some seeds of our own!” OH that heady rush of oxytocin makes me do and say things I will regret in due course!
2) No matter what you have it will never be enough. Again by design. Our genetic makeup is programmed by cycles of feast and famine. As we have modified the world and the cycles of the world we haven’t modified our own internal drives to adjust to the eternal western feast of plentiful food, plentiful entertainment, plentiful sex, plentiful pleasure, plentiful plentiful! So we are ever enticed to gorge on what is spread before us – consuming and consummating through our every waking hour! The only thing we don’t get enough of is sleep and contemplation. Maybe if we indulged in those activities the world would be different? Fuck that – pass me a beer and let’s get naked!
1) It is all meaningless. Yes you heard me – none of this means anything. We may give it meaning, lend it meaning, imbue it with meaning. But in the end all we each experience is this cold reality: We are born and we move inevitably toward death. Everything else is optional. So go ahead – go enjoy the options!
Remember this final horrible realization:
0) There are no good choices and no bad choices – there are only choices and then there are consequences. No matter what – ANY choice you make is YOUR choice, and you have to accept both the pleasure and the pain of that choice. For as long as you shall live – for richer or for poorer. In sickness or in health. Until death sets you free.