Paperboat wayfaring

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 UTC

The sea that is life is rather more viscous than it would seem at first glance. It springs back if pressed at, the viscid consistency is playful. Amorphous and blandly colorful, this mass extends from one end of infinity to the other, and (on the perpendicular axis), from one end of Time to the opposite end. From the surface down, its depth is of such baffling unfathomability that it is usually presumed bottomless. Overhead, scattered stars twinkle in an irregular melody, suspended in a low-hanging sky. The air is powdery, crumbly almost; or rather, it has that quality of being almost solid, yet insubstantial.

To the crew in the paper boat, days pass by in a haze, uncounted and numberless; each day is a solo performer in an interminable and magical parade of little grains of sand, spiraling ever downwards and seeping through. It’s tempting to write, if only a little, about the habitual tempests of fractals and hurricanes of quantum mechanics, the occasional still aeon in doldrums, of seagulls and mirages of warm shores that dissolve back into the ocean, or of the way the open skies boast unfaltering beauty in their volatile semblance. It is an almost instinctive longing– if all this could be written down and kept! Indeed, and Man could have libraries of nothing but delightful stories, and countless archives of long essays analyzing each incident by detail. Surely that would be lovely, except then what remains of life would be lost.

When one doesn’t concern oneself too much about them, memories just put themselves away is some corner of one’s head. They grow ripe and are sweetened with age, and sometimes they seep through into passerby thoughts, which eventually bloom into actions. Every mishap leaves its little sand-grain of a mark, some sort of impression upon us, without which we would be some other, different person, however slightly. So, maybe, Man would be better off living rather than watching himself live. (You know, if it was the afterlife that consisted of endless bookshelves and a myriad of varying interpretations and analyses of one’s life, eternity wouldn’t actually be too bad.)

But of course, no man is quick enough to seize every second of his life. Surely a few will stumble over their own eager feet, while running under their heavy “Carpe Diem!” banner– because a life lived to impress is a futile one, as there is no such audience to our follies. Still others might fall into the cruel delusion of dreaming that they wake in the morning under a fresh, clean sky and set off about their day, while oblivious to the fact that they are still asleep. But perhaps, it is regret over what we miss that makes what we do manage to grasp taste all the more sweet.

Indeed, what would a life be without wanting?

But alas, it would merely be incomplete.

Beauty and pleasure are fleeting things, so it is but all we can do to taste them to their fullest, celebrating their ephemeral character instead of lamenting it. Hedonism is not cynical, on the contrary. Using our hearts to feel and our minds to think are but natural, practical notions. Tell me, can you find anything more worthwhile to do in the interim between birth and death, but to enjoy the excursion?

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