I’m heading out to the Mountain today. A brief visit with the Unlaws and then out to the wilds for a quick but much needed camping trip. It’s been too long since I’ve been completely out in the woods. No cabin, no stove, no insulation. Just a thin barrier of nylon between us and the world at large. The Lumberjack has asked repeatedly if I’m sure I want to go now, it’s still below freezing up there in the night hours. But I’m sure that I need to clear my head.
There is a perspective out in the woods that is hard for me to really keep hold of in the city. Right now all the astrology is talking about the intensity of Mars, and I cannot say they are wrong. I’m seeing intensity from a lot of different angles in my world right now. Stress, people being overworked and under appreciated, the blatant rewriting of events for personal gain, people in tension with their loved ones, the news media failing in seeing the pervasive rape culture that it is attributing to, the fall out of that rape culture that has already scarred so many, miscommunications, long time aggravations continuing to brush the wrong way, people breaking free , people doing the hard work. It’s all around, it’s everywhere.
Then, in the back of my mind there is a whisper. It is not silken, it is not soft, but a whisper none the less. Just as I’m about to get heated up in the moment, just as I am about to slam my fist or tear my hair.
It’s all moot. We’re all going to die.
And I laugh. I can’t help it. I can’t stop it. It’s not a joyful ringing laugh. But it is a deep and very mortal chuckle.
I am comforted by that whisper and that laugh. Inevitably I wonder what that says about me, in fact I wonder even more now that I post this here for all the internet to see. But after two seconds of wondering I shrug and decide that the comfort is worth more than whatever judgement people who I know or do not know may or may not put upon me. After further reflection I can say with certainty that my deriving comfort from that is in no way hindering my ability to live and therefore is not something I need to worry or work on.
Because it’s not actually nihilistic. It’s not there is no reason to do anything because the only guarantee in life is that we are going to die. It’s that you are only guaranteed this one life now, so do your best. It gives more meaning to what we do now because we are in fact fated to die. So don’t waste that meaning on trivial things, don’t get too caught up in the details, the picture is bigger. Your time is short, use it wisely.
I dunno maybe that is nihilistic lol but I find it a useful moment of levity.
The frailty and strength of life and humanity becomes so much more…glorious in it’s tragic beauty.
That’s what the Mountain teaches me. The boulder is unaffected by the squirrel having a fit trying to get a seed open on its surface. It’s seen squirrels having fits before, it will see squirrels to come, it’s still going to be a boulder long after that squirrel is dust in the ground.
The trees are unaffected by the fact that they may get chopped down, or burned, or broken in a storm, or blown over, ripped from the ground in a landslide. They are still going to grow, they are still going to seed, they are still going to be trees.
The Mountain is unaffected by the countless animals (including humans) who have died peaceful and violent deaths on its rocky exterior. It’s forest may burn. People might decide to blow a hole through it and make a tunnel. The rains may come and wash whole portions of it away. In fact the plate it resides upon could begin to shift and destroy it completely. But the Mountain is still a Mountain.
I can take that in and feel the strength of it.
There is a laundry list of things that could happen to me on a daily basis. There are a hundred million dramas that could play out in my life time. I will take part in many of them. I will feel pain, sorrow, loss, stress, anger. I could lose all my love ones. I could in fact die tomorrow, today even. Yet none of that is going to prevent me from living the life that I have now. None of that will actually change who I am. That I am going to try my best and live my life in the pursuit of happiness. I can hold onto that truth and the rest falls away.
I can hold on to that truth and be the Mountain.