by Tommi Avicolli Mecca
Nothing lasts forever. That may not be an original thought, but how often do we really think about it? We go about our busy lives, our routines, day after day, year after year, as if they will never end.
They do. At some point. Sometimes when we least expect it. A sudden heart attack. An accident. It’s all over in the blink of an eye. Or we linger on for months, years, suffering and yet so many times clinging to that desperate hope that we’ll recover, be as we were. We can never be as we were. That moment is past. Where it went is anybody’s guess.
It exists in our memory, wherever that is. Deep in our brains. Electric impulses connecting the information that our senses gathered. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the chemical reactions that are our emotions. But the great love that we swore would be eternal, that we sacrificed for and maybe even gave up everything for, one day becomes a mere blip on the radar of our lives and we’re left wondering whether it was all worth the pain.
The rocks wear down. The forests turn to desert sands. The cities we build, no matter what materials we use or how much we fortify them, become mere dust. We measure it all with time. That was then, this is now, something else will be tomorrow. Is there really any distinction between the three? As far as I can see, there is no present, only a past and future. For as soon as I say, “this is the present,” it’s become the past. Where is the present? Missing in action. Sometimes I feel as if I am falling down a bottomless chasm from a point in the past and into an uncertain future. When I hit bottom, I die.
I don’t get it. This impermanence. What’s the point of it all? Why does life emerge from the soil, the oceans, the blue planet spinning around a sun on the edge of the Milky Way just to have its 15 minutes and then vanish? Did that happen on Mars? Was there, once long ago, an atmosphere and water to sustain life? Did it all change with time and now all that was, all the glory of ancient civilizations, are vanished without a trace? Is that Earth’s fate, too?
We’re such a small thing. Our planet. Everything we know. Way smaller than minuscule. A speck in the Milky Way which is a speck in the vast seemingly endless universe of galaxies and planets. How many Milky Ways would fit on the head of a universal pin?
Nobody has ever come up with an explanation for our impermanence that satisfies me. None of the world’s religions. None of the great philosophers.
I’m left on my own to try and make sense of a senseless world.