There is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock.
People so tired
either by love or no love.
People just are not good to each other
one on one.
The rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.
We are afraid.
Our educational system tells us
that we can all be
It hasn’t told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.
Or the terror of one person
aching in one place
watering a plant.
Left my mark in Barcelona
I’m trying to write something smart about this photo. But I can’t.
"Nothing is nothing! Not just matter. It’s no space. No time. Nothing."
- Alexander Vilenkin
Art by Mahmoud Farshchian
“Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.”
- Arthur Koestler
Art by Aliza Razell
I think about how for a lot of us, our lives are on a kind of auto-pilot most of the time. We get wrapped up in our day to day routines, invent distractions to keep our minds’ busy. Careers, money, friends, family, anxieties, aspirations. We try not to think too much about any real meaning or purpose in our existence objectively.
And so many of us just kind of float around like worker bees, completely consumed by our daily lives until death claims us, and never really understanding why. Unlike the bees we know what’s coming, and we look for meaning in the interim, but as far as we know there is none. The universe just is, the concept of why doesn’t even enter into it. For all we can tell, meaning is a human invention.
We’re all aware of this, I think on some levels we’ve always been aware of it. But to consciously come face to face with this realization and then to live your life according to the conclusions it implies is (for me) extremely difficult. It’s so easy to slide back into routine. To put my metaphysical blinders back on and let my eyes glaze over and not look too closely at the world around me, my place in it, and what that means to me. The alternative is both equally freeing and terrifying: That the only thing able to determine anything resembling a purpose to my life is myself, and to recognize all those ancillary parts of life for what they are and not let them define me.
For years the question “Why am I here?” haunted me. Then one day I started thinking how selfish this question was, and how I am not that important. Part of me thought “No, that can’t be it, there has to be a meaning to my life”. But the fact is, there isn’t. At first this feeling was overwhelmingly bleak, then it turned out to be pretty amazing. I mean we’re the universe experiencing itself and we are around for no other reason to be around, that’s pretty cool to me. One day we just “decided” to be. As Kurt Vonnegut Jr. said ”The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around.”
“… recall one by one each of your own acquaintances; how one buried another, only to be laid low himself and buried in turn by a third, all in so brief a space of time. Observe in short how transient and trivial is all mortal life; yesterday a drop of semen, tomorrow a handful of spice and ashes. Spend therefore, these fleeting moments on earth as nature would have you spend them, and then go to your rest with good grace, as an olive falls in its season, with the blessing for the earth that bore it and a thanksgiving to the tree that gave it life.”
- Marcus Aurelius
Art by Bryce Cameron Liston