The Way You See It

Accidentally saw the lunar eclipse, in all of its shadowy mystical glory, in the black of today’s early morning sky. Right through my bedroom window, just like that, as I cuddled in a hoodie in the dark and sipped my coffee as though we aren’t all just tiny specs of cosmic dust swinging through space and time while the universe does its wondrous thing regardless of whether we care to watch it or not. Indifferent as stone. Shadow eclipses shadow, and again the light emerges like a miracle if you still believe in those.

I’m on shaky ground there myself and have been for a good while now. It can make your life feel eerily haunted when on the surface things appear smooth, happy even, chill. But underneath there is something inside which is always running and I don’t mean running like on legs down the street, I mean running like the machinery inside of a clock or the ticking inside of a time bomb.

As I sit typing away on my laptop, I scroll through some notes I took yesterday on my phone. Writers are always fucking taking notes it’s an obsession with detail we can’t shake. Spent a good portion of time researching the differences and similarities between absurdism, nihilism, and existentialism. Not sure how coherent of a conversation I could have about it all what with the endless nuances etc., but needless to say I’d give anything for someone to discuss it with over coffee and a cigarette.

Good conversation is achingly hard to come by in these times of division and rage. And for the life of me I can’t understand why this doesn’t break the heart of the entire world into pieces.

Remember the beginning of a young, fabulously ridiculous love? How at the beginning you felt like you could throw everything you owned or believed in into the river and not give a shit and never look back and stay up until dawn talking about nothing and everything and believing in something again but for the first time. Does that still happen to people in these times of broken bottle promises and trashy gutter minds? The cynics and maniacs and all that accumulated apathy. Sex like animals only with less heart.

Absurdists believe there are only three available responses to the existential dread we experience within when our human tendency to grapple for meaning in life collides with the universe’s indifference to assuring meaning in anything at all.

Suicide. Religion. Acceptance.

You can end the self (deemed by Camus and Kierkegaard as irrational, as to end one’s own existence only makes that existence even more absurd). You can throw your faith behind a God which exists beyond the Absurd and who creates the meaning in which you are obligated to trust. Or you can accept the Absurd, make your own little meanings out of things for your own reasons, all the while remaining fully aware that ultimately there is no meaning to anything in a life, followed of course by a death, which – you guessed it – is meaningless, too.

That last one there is what Camus believed offered one the most freedom and contentment inside of the madness. Kierkegaard, though, apparently thought that last one was bullshit. For what it’s worth, I could go either way or both at the same time it’s tough to tell when you try to pin a thing to the wall but nothing ever sticks. I’m so strung out on the insanity of capitalism and the rest of it that I’m pretty sure I can no longer see clear through to any answer of any kind.

The thing is, though, there are moments. There are inexplicable happenings that offer glimpses into something so disarmingly beautiful and fleeting, and so quietly, piercingly mesmerizing it makes you wonder if even among the wreckage, there just may be a ghost inside the machine. A ghost not entirely friendly, not entirely punishing, but maybe, just maybe, not entirely indifferent, either.

It’s all wildly outrageous, of course. But as I write this to you now, the unblinking eye that is the moon is a full orange glowing cratered circle sliding behind the bare stick figure trees and I cannot look away. Maybe because, without planning or forethought, all alone in the silence, I happened to catch it blink.

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