I feel like such an asshole when I get all wrapped up in my existentialism. People are getting into car accidents and are being shot and children are starving and natural disasters are wiping people out, and all I can handle is laying in bed, fretting about the nature of our existence.
But then this doesn’t seem so problematic when I consider that we all die. Though sometimes peacefully and naturally, we all die. In a couple of centuries, none of us in existence will have a say about anything. We won’t have thoughts or feelings about the state of the world. Our passions will be gone. No input besides our recycled molecules perpetuating the existence of…something.
Growing up, I learned that I’m not supposed to think about stuff like this. I’d talk about death so casually as a child, and my mother would quickly divert my attention to something superficial before I could get too Sylvia Plath on her.
I don’t begrudge her that. She needs to cope, too.
For the sake of honesty–and because I know I can’t be the only one–I’d like to talk about my own form of depression that I don’t think is depression at all. I get “depressed” when in these moods because I am aware of ultimate finality. I don’t walk around with a cloud over my head, and these thoughts never get so debilitating that I absolutely want to die. However, I really do just think that life is depressing. It’s a big tease. You can make a lot of money, go on a lot of exotic trips, fall in love with a lot of people, and you can reach the end of your life pleased with what you’ve done. But no matter what, it will all be over. Eternity is a possibility, but it could just as well be an illusion.
So, do we need faith? Is our desire for a purpose at all indicative of a true purpose? Not necessarily, but I can understand why it might be needed. There needs to be some indication that this is all worth it, right? Otherwise, what the hell are we doing?
I used to blog about music more often, but now I don’t pretend to know anything about what is “Good” and “Bad” about music. I am particularly attuned to the profound power of certain songs to soothe. 2012 was my first entire calendar year as a non-believer, and I can honestly say it was the greatest year of my life. This is not just because I have a different belief system. It’s because of how new friends have arrived to help me mend and find value in parts of myself that I used to think were supposed to be hated and altered. Human relationships offer so much more than unfounded hope in the supernatural. I know that’s a huge piece of blasphemy that would make many Christians cringe, but it’s nonetheless the greatest truth I’ve discovered.
“When the lies speak the loudest
When your friends are starting to leave
When you’re broken by people like me
I hurt too, I hurt too”
“‘Night after day after night I’ve been working
Despite of you fuckin’ us all
Now I’m gonna die I don’t care if you cry
Just please leave me alone
And spare those tears for yourself
We’ve had those till we’re sick
You should leave while you still have the chance’
The others were shocked at this shameful disgrace
At the end of an honoured career
He paused in the silence to pull down his tie
And observe the melee”
“But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all”
“The book of love has music in it
In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb”
“This is not the last snowfall
Not our last embrace
But if I were that kind of grateful
What would I try to say?”