With apologies to the late Carl Sagan. A great many magnificent minds have come before me who have combined within my mind to inform much of my personal philosophies…
This is a little something I was working on for class. I’ll be expanding it out as the semester goes on. For now, this is what you get. Feel free to lend me your thoughts.
The memories fluttered through my mind in a mass of butterflies’ wingbeats, the images mere glimpses, fragments of a time I’d have rather forgotten, left alone and forlorn in a past not worth revisiting, and yet there I was, trapped within the confines of a dreamscape I couldn’t run from, forced to relive events of my childhood I tried for so long and so hard to put out of my thoughts. I could make out silhouettes grasping for me with gnarled fingers, and I remembered why I feared walking through the Autumn and Winter woods, for the reaching branches clawed at the already dark corridors of my rather fucked up brain patterns.
It is a struggle that remains today. I forever wonder if I am good enough, if I am worthy, if I matter. And then I remember that I am nothing. I find a strange comfort in this thought, for it is my truth, the one thing that I cling on to that allows me to get up in the morning. Relevance in this world is not granted by oneself, but through the life we choose to live, through the lives we touch in thought and action. I had to discover what mattered for me, I had to learn, I had to push through to the other side until I figured out the why…the how.
“My brain is like a bag of cats,” I often tell people willing to listen. “Always running a million miles an hour in different directions, always one idea in constant battle with another.”
The wonder of the mind is found within the search for the paradox of who we are. For me, personally, I have come to realize that depression is simply a manifestation of emptiness. It’s an internal emptiness that cannot be filled by outside things, and I had to find what mattered in my life.
To go internally, I sought the answers well beyond the confines of the world we know so well. I looked to the stars, to galaxies innumerable, to the incredible possibility of countless universes. Our little planet is literally nothing in this vast cosmic arena, and yet, the only life we have ever known – all of our families, all of our pasts, all of our dreams and hopes and wonders – have all been found only here, on a speck of dust floating through an infinite void we have yet to truly understand.
Do you know what this means?
I’ll tell you. This means that the individual is also nothing, less than nothing; this means that our world, the small, fragile mote of rock we call home, has only a value assigned to it by us, and in like manner, life itself is assigned a value only given it by us. Perhaps if we all understood this simple fact, and looked upon each other with such wonder, we would realize the value of the individual, for they are a link to a past that proves our existence, and they continue to press humanity forward toward an uncertain future that is one day bound to end entirely, and completely without pomp or circumstance. Like a whisper on the wind our world, like our lives, when compared to the infinite nothingness that exists with or without human understanding, will be soon gone. The best we can do is appreciate the moment, each precious moment given, and hope our end isn’t hastened through our collective idiocy.