Entry #3 – February 20, 2017
I wonder what you would have thought of Alexander Pope. (Apparently, Voltaire was a huge fan of his.) We read his Essay on Man for class and it talks of justifying the ways of God to man and about man’s place in the natural order of things, and how man should not question the motives of God.
Pope is true to his word. He wrote “a general map of MAN, marking out no more than the greater parts, their extent, their limits and their connection but leaving the particular to be more fully delineated in the charts to follow.”
And yet, I feel that his map is far too vague and simple. It doesn’t begin to describe the human condition. As much as we like to talk about spirituality and God, we do live on Earth.
And our existence is so complex. It’s vast and terrible, happy and warm, hopeful and hopeless. There are so many possibilities, so many layers, so many memories and sensations to every person, all unique to them.
Possibility. I guess that would be the word I would use to describe the essence of life. Possibility.
It’s entirely possible that you will be born into a loving family, beginning life in a warm serene embrace of baby blue that lulls your fears and nurtures you until you’re ready to face the outside world and with it, the cruelty and the prejudices and the savage scarlet wounds as it screams and lashes out and tries to toss you out.
It’s entirely possible that your parents are not there, or worse, they are and they are what makes your life a living hell. Maybe they are the ones who cut you open, attack who you are and what defines you, violates and destroys your personal space so when you face the outside world- it’s nothing new unless this newfound freedom and solitude is freeing.
Maybe it’s when you’re with your friends, when you hear their laughs and their voices speaking their minds, chatting or ranting or joking that you feel your muscles relax, that you feel the peace of not needing to keep up the pretenses, like a lonely soldier lowering their gun, tossing aside their shields and uniforms at ease.
Or maybe life is solitude. A forever silent void that somehow manages to scream at you, tell you that you are worthless. You are alone. That no one loves you and that perhaps they never will. That you are a failure. Maybe life is looking in a mirror and hating your reflection- and no one being there to tell you that you shouldn’t.
I could go on. But you get my point.
The world is cruel. It’s populated with monstrous people and ruled by unforgiving, machinating systems that wait for no man. And for the most part, you probably end up marching on in drudgery and work and misery until you die. And you live for those brief moments in life where the world is yours, laying open at your feet- I wonder where I heard that phrase and I wish I could cite it- where you are free and where you are happy.
And now I ponder what happiness is, but perhaps that’s for another time.
If there’s a point to take away from it all? There’s no mapping the human existence. But hey, I welcome people to try.
(P.S.- Something we were rotten at was calling out each other’s bullshit. So now that you’re gone, and it’s just me, it makes me wonder how much unchecked bullshit I’m cranking out. Just a thought.)