Too Ordinary to Even Dare Remember
Art and the meaning of life.
I am Kenta. I share my learnings on improving the quality of experience through this newsletter.
THE UNIVERSE MAY STOP EXPANDING IN FIVE BILLION YEARS
at which point time will cease
to exist and i can finally stop
complaining. there's a fragile
world reflected in the glassy
pearl of your spit left
on my belly and i'm telling
you, i've never been so
old. the day sucks with leech-
teeth. even given the shreds
of your dead rind caked under
my fingernails there's the black
chasm of want expanding
in my chest the way a bead
of ink breaks, making me difficult
to touch without an exit plan.
imagine, please, a better
continuum. you say earlier
doesn't feel real and you're right,
not because there was anything
exceptional about the heath
in early afternoon, not because
our chins sticky with cider
was a notable pip in this
quivering glitch of a life,
but because it was too ordinary
to even dare remember,
because we'll someday ache
for any regular sunday in June
where the sun was a sure
thing and breath tasted like warm
grass and there was not a single
indication the cosmos would one
day shut like your eyes, tight
This poem made me think about how valuable time is and how not valuable time feels. It made me remembered when I enjoyed my morning coffee on the engawa in the old Japanese house I stayed in the summer. Nothing was particularly happening. There was just the sound of silence and the taste of coffee in summer.
It was so ordinary. The past never feels real.
Time is the most precious resource we have, but it's the easiest to lose.
The passages of time have felt unfair a million times. We're born with time, and we have to live with it.
It is unfair because we're not the center of the universe. The fact is hard to swallow because we have only looked at the world from inside ourselves.
But when we accept the hard truth, we can be free from it, and everything becomes precious.
Dan Harmon, the creator of Rick and Morty, on the meaning of life:
Knowing the truth, which is that nothing matters, can actually save you in those moments. Once you get through that terrifying threshold of accepting that, then every place is the center of the universe, and every moment is the most important moment, and everything is the meaning of life.
Savannah Brown also lands on a similar existential meaning. She ends her video, life cheated us all and i'm full of angst, with the following:
everything is impossibly strange, and nothing is sacred, and everything is holy, and it's gonna be fine. we're gonna be fine even if we're not. nothing's fair. nothing's good. and it's all worth it. and everything is so wonderful. and it's gonna be fine. it's gonna be fine. don't even worry about it.
Everything matters when we realize that nothing matters.
The only thing we can do is pay attention to the present. Time converts into experiences with attention.
Appreciate small moments even though we know they will be gone, our lives will be gone.
"Everyone who has a life, will not have that life," said Jason Rosenthal in one of the Waking Up podcast episodes about death. His dying wife, Amy Rosenthal, wrote You May Want to Marry My Husband before her death.
We can appreciate small moments because our time is limited and will cease to exist one day. We exist because we will stop existing.
Thinking in circles is definitely one of my personal traits. And it comes with the occasional feeling of existential crisis and loss of meaning.
But, the good thing is that I can forge my own meaning out of great arts.
Art is a device to construct meaning in life.
You can listen to her reading the poem here.
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