Into the Future

It’s happened again. The small rocky lump has made it around the big sphere of burning gas, and people everywhere have said hurray and uncorked sparkling wine, and people everywhere are deciding what they’ll do differently to better themselves to a minor degree over the next circuitous route their planet (one of many hundreds of billions) makes around their home star (one of many hundreds of billions) because all of this matters and is incredibly important and we wouldn’t want it any other arbitrary way. The start of a new year always seems to be the time when I must go into battle against my ever creeping and growing nihilism. It’s not that I believe in nothing. I believe time destroys all. Of all the belief systems out there, nihilism is the one truth, and although there will be no rewards handed out for being correct, the inevitable future is a cold, absolutely dark and lifeless universe. On the upside, there will be no one around to know when this has happened. On the downside, this will happen… not anytime soon of course, but it will happen. The universe is a hand grenade. The whole universe is just one big explosion and galaxies are the massive chunks of spinning shrapnel flying off into the void, but as with all explosions, eventually the pieces come to rest and cool off until what you’re left with are some fairly uninteresting bits of twisted metal. I can’t fight the reality of this. It’s a pretty big thing. Yet for what it is, I don’t ever fall into total nihilism. I write poetry into the nihilism. I play games into it and drink into it and laugh into it. I raise a child into it, and kill animals into it. I burn trees into it and watch television into it. Into it I do the laundry and wash the dishes. Into it I pick fruit and flowers. Into it I fight and curse and raise my middle finger. I put my back into it and turn it on it, but what I won’t do is lie into it. I won’t fill the harshness of reality full of soft and gentle untruths. I won’t play make believe into it. It’s there; it’s real and nothing can make it go away, but what I can do is adjust myself to my time scale. Nihilism is only the truth in the end… in the epic time scale of the universe. On my time scale, one of years, months, days, hours, minutes, there is no horrifyingly bleak end. Pleasure and joy are in the small accumulating seconds here in the tail of the Holocene, which is wagging happily, welcoming me home, welcoming me to another year of it. Happy New Year. It can actually mean something.


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