It makes you wonder: Why are we even here? What is our purpose? What does the future hold? Why bother?
These are questions which have troubled our greatest thinkers and dimmest wits alike since the first cave person looked at a cave painting and wondered whether or not he should say something about how it didn’t look very different from the drawings he had seen in some of the other caves on the mountain range and if you were going to take the time and use up the precious fire to draw the running meat on the wall why wouldn’t you want to do something that at least brought a little bit of your own—and then BAM a bear jumped out and ate him. It took a long time before we as a species figured out you needed to go all the way into the back of the cave and take a good look around before you decided to settle in and start doing your derivative hunt sketches there. Anyway, these questions, which have been with us for so long, have simple answers. It helps to reframe what we’re wondering about. Why are we here? Luck and chemicals, mostly. The more interesting, and resolvable, question is when are we here?
yesterdaysprint: Douglas Island News, Alaska, November 15, 1918
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
— Ray Bradbury
The message is simple: Love everyone. “I have to work hard to be able to keep my heart open to people whose policies I disagree with,” Ram Dass once said, in a lecture from the ‘90s. “I have a holy table with pictures on it of Buddha and Christ and Maharajji, my guru.… And I used to have Caspar Weinberger”—the secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan—“on the table, but I now have replaced him with Bob Dole. So in the morning, I say, ‘Good morning, Christ! Hello, Buddha! Good morning, Maharajji! Hello, Bob.’ And I see how far I have to go yet. Because after all, [Bob Dole] is merely God in drag, saying, I bet you won’t recognize me this way, will you? They’re all faces of the beloved.”
Not even a little. Most of my favourite writers are now forgotten. A couple of them I’ve helped to be remembered once again. But they are loved by people who ran across them in old bookshops or on dusty shelves.
I figure I’ll probably be forgotten too, and hope that every now and again someone would find something I made and like it. I’ve never yet worried about being relevant – if I did I’d not know what to write. I’d rather write about what I care about, and let other people decide how relevant to their lives it is.”