As if this was the last thing I was to do.
The last thing to ever see.
Staring at this screen.
Grasping for words of hope to leave you.
To have something to lean on for me
In case I wake up tomorrow.
Another day, another sorrow.
There is technology. There are miracles happening every day through the use of science. The scientific method always probing and asking and reaching closer and closer. Where once the world was flat. Where once we were the center of the universe we now see, this life could go on infinitely. The structure in which we see. Our eyes inform our decisions is but one minor minute adjustment in a system that is larger than we will ever know.
Science wants to be wrong. It is not a dogma that professes it knows all. It is math and science birthing formulas birthing theories. Theories that launch spaceships. That create gene theory. That slow cancer. That solve real world problems. This is something to take comfort in. Similar formulas that split the atom might soon create infinite energy for all mankind. The same grasping exploring fingers extending from our brains. Through our eyes. To our fingers. To our machines. Can create a heaven as well as a hell.
We are the keepers of our own destiny. The godhead has given us freewill. Through every choice we make there is a repercussion. Through every thought we have there is the ability to take action. To do nothing. I say this as the whole thing. The whole experiment seems to be tottering on the edge of an abyss. As we stare down the edge of the cliff. As we see the darkness that is our companion we also can wish to see the infinite. That through that darkness is an entire world of you and me. Existing in other forms. Swimming in alien oceans. This is not the end but a rocket-ship to the beginning. As each heart beat ticks away our alarm clock living for expiring. We can choose to realize the hopelessness of it all. The absolute nothing that we are. Knowing that we are always slowing, dying. That everything after us will die. That there will be no proof of these words or these thoughts. That I might as well have never written them.
Or we can accept something different. As vague and nearly as hopeless as it may be. It may be that we are part of an infinite machine. All cogs and pegs pinging our way through a program. An algorithm that has adjusted and readjusted itself for infinity. Yes you are still small. Smaller than ever before. You might not have ever existed and would it be any different? Could you have read this? Would we have ever had a kiss? A hug from a loved one? Have ever loved? Have ever questioned? Have ever lived to die?
I believe that this is the reason. To ask why. To die knowing nothing. To always be open. To new paradigms. Seeking knowledge. I could be Buddha. We all can be awakened. We all can know the synchronicity within the nothing and the everything. A rambling chorus of crickets howling on our one brown blade of grass. Seeking to understand the giants who haunt us. A single-celled organism dividing. Consuming. Conquering.
If this may be my last note I leave you with. Let it be known that I don’t know. No one knows. But we try and so must you. Continue. Have empathy for others. Use your body to survive. Use your mind to explore. The human brain a hunk of gray matter so powerful it can imagine the infinity of the universe. The multi-verse. Super black holes and super white holes banded together like human tissue. An umbilical cord connecting space and time.
Stars like atoms.
You are the rings of Saturn.
You are Jupiter’s ice moon.
You are pure energy.
Born from the stars you imagine.
And we remember you.
Be it a wave, a flood, a tree. We have suffered, you and me. Roofs ripped off. The wiring is bad. The pipes are busted. Nearly losing everything and glad. Been near death. Seen the other side and held my breath. Seen life flash before my eyes and came back. Life is short and sweet. Sweet and sour. Hour by hour.
With everything I once knew, now torn apart. I must learn to turn those broken parts into art. Find out what holds up to this harsh weather. What will our insurance cover? See if wood and nails will replace the fear I held. For years. The fear that this storm would hit and it would be the end. But until it hit I would pretend. That everything was okay.
The storm has come. Flooded homes and entire towns. Wiped away lifetimes of hard work. As many still search for lost lovers. I stand here with you, a survivor. In front of our home. Nothing left but mud and debris. My loving family looking up at me. In this space we once felt secure and free. In this capsule I waited for death to come for me. When it came and left me to be. I can not help but ask why? After so many years living to die. How do I learn to live?
A feeling many have in battle I suspect. Smiling deeply inside that a bullet would hit. Take them out as a perfect young man. Lean and mean. An American fighting machine. Always training for that moment when death would greet them and make them immortal. All the brawls. All the beers. All the years facing fear. All to mark ones territory.
Now the battle is over and the waters have gone. I have to take a deep look around. Take a deep look inside. And prepare for the long life I did not expect. Retirement plans and mortgage payments. College funds and credit scores. The daily grind of surviving. In a world where no one is a hero. In a world where we all go out equals and zeros.
This existence with all that it is. The barbed wire fences built and then destroyed. The tribes we nurture and then employ. I am surrounded by family. The ones who mean the most to me. My partner and my progeny. All of this is for them. All the doors I kick in and defend. All the materials gathered. The precious few we reach out to and befriend. And what does it mean when this is all gone? All of civilization ripped from our empty hands. As we lie naked in the debris to begin again. Thankful to have each other.
I see the strength in our human bond. I see the social in our animal. As we lick each others wounds. Our reptilian brain’s fight or flight. Our bodies perfectly built for speed. Our hips built to carry the offspring we breed. I feel the warmth of your body piled on top of me. Your heartbeat’s heat we so need. Safe from the storm outside we breathe. Sleeping in cycles, aware of the predators we once did eat.
Each day we struggle to find water, food and heat. To plant crops to grow. Pray to the heavens so the rain will no longer glow. And what do we know? What did we learn? The power to split the atom. The power to make rockets and bombs. Where did collateral damage come from? Did we learn patience? Did we learn compromise? Did we learn to live with others outside our tribes? What short passages of wisdom will we pass down to know? What stone tablets will we we forge to show?
Will the religions of peace and love rise again? Will they be renamed and re-branded once again? Will the world be flat once again? And what will be the message that we will send? I sit here in my cave with you. No more digital box to view. I remember the home we once knew. Our children feral and wild, now they run free. No more plastic products to purchase and worship. No more treats to use to blackmail them to eat. For our priorities have been put in place. What matters now is that we are here, now, in this space. Content to be alive, together, the human race.
Painting by artist Kirsty Whiten. View more of Kirsty’s work here.
A third here. Drifting between the here and now. The details of life. Building legacy. Noticing how big they are growing. How fast time is going. I wake up each day and before it is over find thankfulness. Even though I question where I am. What is my calling, if any? I see all the struggles my wife goes through. All the hard work she puts in. The schedules booked. Doctors. Appointments with contractors. A home that is being rebuilt for us. One day I will get off this couch. My daughter drew a picture of the family the other day. In her stick figure style. She is only six but she gets the lines right. She expresses what she sees. They say you can tell a lot from a child’s family portrait. I was drawn on a couch floating above the family. She even drew an extra sibling into our family but I was floating above them all on a couch. Detached. I asked her why and she said it was because there was no room for me. Sadly I thought about how maybe I have not given any room for her. In my floating. I hope I am wrong.
A third there. So the floating takes me places. I might be sitting with you. I might be listening to you. But my conversation might drift. A conversation about the weather will turn into politics will turn into global warming will turn into the depletion of our natural resources. How it is all tied together. I float high in these conversations. I am not on a couch above my family but in a hot air balloon floating miles and miles away. The media is not chasing my balloon for I have not been reported missing. Maybe someone should call the police but I rather enjoy floating. This has only been amplified. This feeling of wanting to connect the dots and to see the big picture. The micro and the macro. I was always a daydreamer but now dreams are reality. Science fiction is science faction. Dream it and do it. Write and say it. But please do something.
A third over there. Take a little bit of daydreamer then just add a bit of brain tumor and what you will get is an increased ability to mark time. To dream of space. To look at it from many angles. Reality and all its nuances. The possibility of it being an illusion. The infinity and what really is infinity. Energy. Are these words changing you as you read them? Are they changing me? Have they been written before? Having mourned my death for years I have accepted life and all its reincarnations. I am the fly on the wall. The ant I stepped on. The family of ducks crossing the street. How my office mates walked out to see them. Were they seeing the ducks or were the ducks seeing them. What is a duck? The word formed in our mind to identify an organism that is stardust just like us. Vibrating just like us. Only a few feet away. Are we also in that family? What bacteria live in the dirt under their webbed feet? How small are their parts? Do planets rotate around their stars at the same ratio of distance as electrons rotate around their nuclei? Are there lifeforms on electrons? What are they made of? Are planets alive? What is alive?
fingers pushing plastic.
ears plugged with foam.
eyes on pulsing panels.
pressed flesh to pressed wood.
cushions off-gassing poison.
air condition recycling death.
feet hugging carpet.
eyes blinking dry and tired.
wearing a jacket in the summer.
frozen like ice cream.
merging into fabrication.
organic into industrial.
carbon into silicon.
sunlight through glass.
palm tree hanging dry, dead.
blowing in the wind.
barely a whisper.
parking garage awaits.
for something more.
space within time.
electrons having children.
in this sitting.
in this act of not doing.
rhythm passes through us.
Numbers before my eyes.
New dates, new labor and times.
Not sure how they may take
Me from point A to make
It to point B, to another
Place to orientate.
To buy a house now.
To put money down.
Make charges on a card.
To sign my name King.
As the market bell rings
The future of a new family is found.
A home they wish to round
Out and make their own.
New paint, new floors, new loan.
As bombs fall in distant lands.
As gas drills into toxic water expands.
The state in which we were raised
We wish to educate our own.
To make a life of our own.
To make the world a better place.
No security in this space.
To live from month to month
Is to be American.
With no future but today
Marching into tomorrow in dismay.
Holding onto HOPE even if
It’s just a four letter word.