It’s 1:15 AM, and I struggle to type in the darkness, darkness I daren’t banish for fear of my slumbering mother waking up. The dead of the night is a great time for revelations.
I am someone who’s thoroughly dissatisfied with life, despite being graced with necessary material comforts and generally favorable circumstances. Over the years, I have developed a penchant for brooding about the higher purpose of life, ruminating about the true nature of the inner self, and generally pondering the extent of the futility of existence. I drive myself crazy wallowing in unhappiness about the fact that I’m not happy. In fact, I’ve got so used to feeling melancholic about existence in general, that the familiarity of the feeling has caused me to inadvertently build a comfort zone around this particular state of being.
I often have lengthy, cathartic colloquies with a couple of my friends, who share my acknowledgement that life is meaningless. One of them, however, brooks a perpetual “I-don’t-care-about-the-redundancy-of-living-cuz-I-just-wanna-create-cool-shit” attitude that I have been unable to fathom, despite it seeming like a highly desirable attitude to live with. How does one conjure the enthusiasm to wake up every day and go about working, loving, TRYING so hard in life, when it’s all meant to end? Somehow, my mind seems inclined to leap right back into that cesspit of an existential crisis.
Sometimes, like right now, I can’t sleep, simply because I know that tomorrow’s going to be just like today, which was just like yesterday, which saw us engaging in feeble attempts to grace our lives with redundant actions and achievements. But presently, boredom and my Facebook feed conspired to lead me to a bunch of quotes by Charles Bukowski, one of which jumped out at me. It reads as follows:
“You know, we’re monstrosities. If we could really see this, we could love ourselves…realize how ridiculous we are, with our intestines wound around, shit slowly running through as we look each other in the eyes and say “I love you,” our stuff is carbonizing, turning into shit, and we never fart near each other. It all has a comic edge… And then we die.”
I laughed (silently) for eight minutes straight. In a moment of clarity, I suddenly seem to have assimilated the fact that our lives, our pain and fears and love- it’s all a cosmic joke of epochal proportions. Maybe, if instead of going all doom and gloom over the whole Mono No Aware side of life, I ought to acknowledge how little we really mean in the grander scheme of things. Life’s too trivial to be brooding about the meaninglessness of it all. Besides, existence really is hilarious, with all its paradoxes and dramatic irony. We’d do well to laugh this ephemeral life away, than ruminate all the way to the grave.
I’m pretty certain I’m going to relapse into a cycle of what-is the-meaning-of-life in the near future, but even a fleeting epiphany goes a long way, and when in the cesspit again, I shall remind myself of this moment of acceptance, and draw from it.
And to end this piece, regretfully platitudinous in its hopefulness, I shall paraphrase the words of another wise man I much revere. “Life has no higher purpose. Life is a purpose unto itself.”