“Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That’s the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what’s left, that’s the part you have to make up as you go.” -Katharine Weber
The impossible unpredictability of our daily existence is enough to rattle the most grounded of souls. Add to that the utter lack of control we wield over the trajectory of our loved ones, and we become nothing more than walking/talking test tubes trapped in a centrifuge, forced to endure a dizzying dance of expectations, invocations, and crossed fingers.
Yet we are told that hardship and grief define character, that we must embrace the dark days to appreciate the sunrises. Nothing worth its salt is easily procured. A silver lining sits on the back of every storm cloud.
But I don’t think I’m capable of swallowing the force-fed doses of wishful thinking.
There is a chasm left when people leave and a heaping helping of affirmative visualization or positive manifestation can’t change the fact that we are all sprinting on hamster wheels built with a finite number of rotations.
My mother and I both lost a parent when we were 25. We recently talked about this odd shared life experience, and I realized that the finality of some moments never fully vacate the consciousness. Her loss was far more devastating than mine, but seeing how emotionally affected someone could be more than forty years after an incident was proof that no amount of elaborate window dressing can hide the fact that your store is sometimes empty.
The moments missed and the absent days are tough pills to swallow. We all have clocks that are counting backward, and perhaps death and loss are the brightest beacons of that reality.
So until Kurzweil cracks the code to give us a little breathing room, we’re stuck in this particular place and time. I suppose we should try to make the most of it.