The boy and his friends created a spoof religion. There was trouble in the school yard—proselytizing, competing cosmologies, groups of converts squabbling over truth. A heretic classmate brought a thin metal rod to press his point, accompanied by a fellow traveler with a camera to film the potential violence. Nothing came of it but the frisson of excitement.
I recommended Lord of the Flies to the boy. He got the point. In the last weeks of group supervision, burned out on the whole affair of collaboration, stuck in the atomistic world view formed in my sparse childhood with its crumbling cliff’s edge of connection, I let my crank flag fly. We’re all doomed, I say. The die has been cast for us. Maybe for the planet, too. Nothing gold can stay. I see in shades of gray. At this moment, the cloud cover in my mind is heavy, waiting for a brisk front to wipe the slate clean again.
All I have to offer is humanity bound in imperfection, a tug on your sleeve, a whisper as you pass, a glance that you may or may not catch as I brush by. I’m in love with this language and how it flows from the source, that ache in my chest and the memory of minds gone like my mind and all the rest will eventually go. I work one human to another, the self in all its crenulations and battered glory meeting another self. We’re doomed. We’re problematic. Let’s create meaning and connection in the face of eventual nothingness while we still can..
I think about this a lot.
The boy coughs upstairs, hiding away after being away, recovering from an intensity of civics and civility. I had a life before him and will have something different after he leaves. This leaving happens in bits and pieces, in independent moves and symbolic pushes. What is now shall dissipate. What comes after will endure the same fate. Time creates us. If we’re lucky, it will allow us to become memories. Eventually even that status shall go.
It is a life’s work to accept this disappearing, to live in the moments we create. I do what I can.