Our lives are brief in the reckoning of the universe. Brief quivers in the canvas of existence.
Anachronisms in the natural order of things. Things of life, intruding where there should only be darkness.
Listen well then. I shall narrate the story of your life to you. From birth to death.
The first nine months of your life, are spent in utero. Or in vitro for some. 9 months spent drifting in between dreams and reality. In the few moments you spend awake, you kick and push, unhappy at being woken from the warm embrace of the surreal, rebelling against waking into a liquid prison.
At the moment of your birth, your first act, is to breathe in, to steal a taste of this new world you have emerged into. You bawl and weep, knowing that the years of life that follow, are nothing if not cruel.
One prison traded for another.
For the next few months, as any parent or elder sibling will know, you spend most of your time crying, whenever you are not asleep. A small and futile attempt to regain the sweetness of oblivion your soul knew but a brief time before.
Fast forward through the years.
By this time your memories of the womb and the years that follow are faded. Your mind attempts to shield you. Knowing what you have lost, what you have traded in exchange for life, would drive you insane.
Let us think of the present.
School, college, work.
A schema most peoples lives follow.
Whenever you are not weighed down by the mundane restrictions life imposes, your time is divided into three things.
You seek distraction to fill the time, to take yourself away from reality. To escape from the poison of your choice. There's no dearth of them. Abusive parents, poverty, unpopularity, depression, sickness, boredom, sometimes just the sheer mundanity of life. And luckily enough, there are whole industries revolving around your desperate needs. Booze, drugs, video games, movies, prayer. A wonderful world we live in.
As a friend once told me, "it's human nature to flock into groups and companionship".
And he's right. Without other people around, you will quickly succumb to loneliness. It's why unmanageable convicts are thrown into isolation. Even the hardest of us will crack under the weight of total silence. People can be broken, shattered into myriad pieces, never to be put back together, if they are shut away from the world for too long.
But what is the point of this flocking? Why do you long so, for companionship, that often as not, rejects you? If you can learn that fire burns, why do you insist on being repeatedly burned?
It is a longing for the feeling of one-ness. A departure from the painful individuality of life. To return to the natural state of absolute harmony you knew ever so long ago. Before it was stolen from you by life.
This one's easy. You sleep because you need it. Your body cannot function without it. But there is more to it than just exhaustion. In the womb, you slept, you soul set free from it's chains. And so it remains. For a brief span of time, you are free. Oblivion once again, so pure and sweet. Free to create castles and dragons. To dream a dream of a time gone by.
And so it goes. Every day for the rest of your life. An unwilling player in this play of epic proportions, unknowing.
And finally you die.
You become old and gray. Your bones frail and brittle. Your mind dulls. All that you once loved, now no longer seems to hold any significance. All that you can think of now, is how tired you are. How weary of living you have grown. You cannot distract yourself. You cannot seek refuge in friends and loved ones, they cannot understand how your age weighs on you. They cannot empathize with you. They remain submerged in the illusions of youth and strength.
Lady Death stands over your shoulder, and waits politely for you to take her hand. Where she was once terrifying, a greedy hag, eager to steal what is rightfully yours, she is beautiful now, benevolent, waiting to guide you home. To where you truly belong.
As you breathe your last, you sigh, for in that last moment of life, all illusions are laid bare, the truth is made apparent. You think of your mother, and smile. Content in the knowledge you shall meet her again.
Lady Death takes you by the hand. Her hand is warm, comforting, a sign of paradise to come. And so, you die.
And the curtain falls. There is no applause, for there was never a play at all. No play, no theater, no actors, no audience. It was all just a dream.
And now you are awake.
And thus the story goes. For each one of us. We move between worlds, time and time again. In this life or the next. Between what is true and what is false. Between dreams and reality.
Our entire lives are spent waking.
And so the story goes. Until the end of time. And when the universe has reached it's end, Lady Death shall put the chairs on the tables, turn off the lights and lock the door to this life behind her.
And then we shall all wake, for the last time.
And so the story ends.
The hardest thing to do in this world is live in it.