We seek ways to prolong our painful existence.
We try to be more than we are. We defy flesh and bones. We desire agelessness.
I hear people talk of perfecting and tuning the human race to ages beyond its natural procession. We want immortality, but we don’t. Immortality sounds like a wonderful gift of sorrow. It appeals to our innate fear as mortal beings but mangles our good reason. Immortality is an abomination. It is estrangement from the act of life. Immortality is more painful than its opposite and rebukes that which it claims to overcome. Immortality pronounces a bitter truth. Man is inherently unsatisfied and he will never uncover solace in this waking world. Such is the human quandary of precarious happiness that he is driven to conjure false solutions. He is lulled into the narcotic mindset that satisfaction is a treasure awaiting his fabulous discovery. The bitter secret is that it is found nowhere. We search for angelic happenings but only unearth lichen. There is no catharsis to be found in these buried depths!
We expect an Act of Life but we are treated to only empty frames of non-existence.
Because we don’t pay attention and because we linger on the edges of want is how we are molded as a sentient race.
Man’s highest attainment is to hope for nothing.
He hopes for a sense of generational reward. He hopes that his heirs absorb his life’s hollow events. For beyond this narrative of life and death there is darkness and utter Nothing. Generations, though they may note the ancient ancestral existence, pays it little heed. Distant ancestors melt into history. Life turns to sludge, then dust. The exit sign bids farewell.
Ultimately, as they say, you can’t take it with you.
You may happily devote your existence on this cosmic rock and every last spark of energy entombing your life with possessions and icons of status but you are only living for your immediate self and and such superficial thresholds only sate the capricious moment while not contributing whatsoever to a meaningful legacy.
I’m sourly convinced we express our legacy through the means of memories.
Memories are the vehicle which most deeply manifests our untapped desire to perturb future generations. Memories are the currency of humanity. Memories do not crumble like castles. Memories retain their brilliance and are renewed and passed along through a chain of ownership without losing their urgent sincerity. Memories are without cost and available to all, even the most wretched and deprived of humanity. Ultimately I believe we should not distinguish or value the good versus the bad memories. Memories attain a sense of melancholy longing that is neutered of pain or glory by the passage of time. At times I recall some horrific moments in my life which at the time seemed excruciating and wrenching, but which today seem like such idle fragments of my life. They are detached narratives and I harbor a fondness for them, regardless.
All we can do as people is to bequeath a sense of our soul laced with traces of memories. Memories are the only offering we can leave which means a damn. Our heirs will be thankful to us long after our flesh and blood and castles have faded to empty dust, for they will have nothing else. The memory will live on, for it is our immortal gift.
Which all means one thing to me as a parent and a man who will be 47 in several months.
I’ve accepted, as we all must, that there is precious little I can do to affect the shape of civilization much less the shape of my future lineage. However, I can devote my life to creating fresh memories toward this end. Including participating in acts that I probably would never consider otherwise. Such as spending 3 days in the midst of a claustrophobic horde of frenzied music fans half my age. This is the only way available to me to plant a timeless memory tree, a gesture of immortal legacy. As the days grow shorter, we must realize that potential diminishes and we must grasp and treasure the subsiding egotistical demands of our vanity. We must realize that the limitations of our pathetic little lives can be surmounted by being bigger than our self-limited despair.
Despair kills. Despair is why unsure people seek immortality in bullshit like yachts and fountains of youth. The harder we strive to overcome through glitter, the fiercer we are strangled by the burden of mortality. Human striving is artificial and inept. We can only work within our shell and strive for tranquility there by not striving. We cannot buy or flaunt this like we would possessions. It does not photograph well. Achieve without ambition.
Value is a definition and only takes tangible form when bartered.
Memories cannot be bartered and hence are valueless.
Which makes them exquisitely precious and unique.