And it would seem then that to make an image of death, we would have to conceive what our life would be if all the movements of the earth, all the noises of the earth, all the smells, the tastes, all the light – of the earth and of elsewhere, came to us in a moment, in an instant – like an atrocious screaming tumult of all things, traversing us continually and instantaneously.
~Quentin Meillassoux, “Subtraction and Contraction: Deleuze, Immanence, and Matter and Memory”
You know, out there right now in the great big world, there is someone who has realized something important.
They have realized that they really hardly matter in the big picture, there was never even a big picture.
Sure, if they are lucky they might matter to a few people, people who might depend on them or people who have worried about them, maybe for a long time, but perhaps those people have started to notice their worry has now turned into regret.
Realizing that they have seen enough of Spring turning into Winter and back again, enough of the Beautiful and the ugly and the continuing cycle of consuming and wanting and scrubbing the world clean.
Enough of trying, enough of not trying. Relapse, rinse, repeat.
What then? It's a matter of logistics, leaving the game, the stage, the good fight.
A final decision on what is the best way to leave a beautiful garden of memory or scorched earth in your wake on the way out, but the realization that you will be forgotten in time, and that the few who mourn your absence will be also forgotten in time, makes that decision even a more personal one.
Out there right now in the great big world, there is someone who has realized something important.
That one candle that burned in the darkness going out will not be missed by the light of day.
“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”
"Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V."
Until now we have sought redemption in a transcendent eternity with which we have nothing in common. But this world – this finite eternity which is so much like us – this is a world where we can find unity, and where we can finally feel at home. Camus affirms, “I am fulfilling a truth which is the sun’s and which will also be my death’s…I love this life with abandon and wish to speak of it boldly: it makes me proud of my human condition” (Tipasa 69).
Our only unity lies in death – this is the grim reality which the absurd man must face.
Yet it is a cause for joy because it means that we are exactly where we belong — we are mortals in a mortal world.
We have rediscovered our deepest measure.
Our death causes us grief and yet it frees us from the future, from eternity, from duty; death means that we can only live in the present, and we are absolved of our obligations to fulfill the requirements of the eternal soul.
Our mortality is the source of our estrangement from the world dressed up with transcendent values, but it is also the birthplace of those absurd values which once again bridge the gap between man and the world.
“If I could cut from my brain the phantom of competition, the ego-center of self-consciousness, and become a vehicle, a pure vehicle of others, the outer world. My interest in other people is too often one of comparison, not of pure intrigue with the unique otherness of identity. Here, ideally, I should forget the outer world of appearances, publishing, checks, success. And be true to an inner heart. Yet I fight against a simple-mindedness, a narcissism, a protective shell against competing, against being found wanting. To write for itself, to do things for the joy of them. What a gift of the gods.”
“Although I cannot find in it either objective meaning or transcendental finality, existence, with its multiplicity of forms, has never ceased to be a source of both delight and sadness. At times, the beauty of a flower is enough to justify in my eyes the principle of universal finality while at others, the smallest cloud troubling the serenity of the sky rekindles my somber pessimism. Those who interiorize excessively discover symbolic meanings in the most insignificant aspects of nature.”
“When I enter most intimately into what I call “myself”, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never catch myself at any time without a perception.”
“Life isn’t happily ever after… It’s work. The person you love is rarely worthy of how big your love is. Because no one is worthy of that and maybe no one deserves that burden of it, either. You’ll be let down. You’ll be disappointed and have your trust broken and have a lot of real sucky days. You lose more than you win. You hate the person you love as much as you love him. But you roll up your sleeves and work - at everything - because that’s what growing older is.”