This Slavery, This Violence

I write this as my wife is suffering, in agony, with another serious infectious illness. It is a reminder, as are many things, that we are all human, that we are all bound by gravity, mortality, reality.

The life of a cloud is a microcosm for our own lives. Here, then gone.
The life of a cloud is a microcosm for our own lives. Here, then gone.

I read yesterday that the last World War I veteran died yesterday at the age of 110. If that isn’t sobering and humbling, nothing is. The smallest and the mightiest of that great war are all – all – gone. Each was once a baby, once a child playing, once a young adult, loving, living, having fun, suffering, dreaming.

If it seems like a kind of violence or slavery, we might take some comfort in the notion that death is, ultimately, in the long term, fair, and in a very scientific way, not the end of us. The matter and energy of our bodies and minds remains here in the world.

As our world, and all worlds, move inexorably toward the heat death of the Universe, it becomes obvious that the ultimate destination for all of us, and everything, is nothingness.

Today I am oddly comforted by this idea.


  1. it is my unscientific belief that around the age of 15 we all become aware of an emptiness in our being. it’s like there’s a hole through the middle of us. the unlucky among us become deluded into believing that the hole exists for a reason — that its nature is temporary and it may be filled with something or become filled, eventually, on its own. then we stuff that hole full of sex, drugs, philosophy, entertainment or even futile contemplation. some poor bastards even try to stuff their holes full of a perversion of religion.

    unfortunately the emptiness is the only permanent thing about us. everything else is a system stacked on a system stacked on a system. everything else is falling apart. but not the emptiness.

    until we can be happy with the emptiness we will be bound to the rest of the bullshit that’s falling apart.

    again, that’s completely unscientific and i don’t expect anyone to believe it. i don’t even know for sure if i believe it. it’s not important. it’s just another system, anyhow.

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