The thing is, no one knows. When it comes down to it, no one knows anything and everything that points to the contrary is all a ruse.
I read this fantasy series – The Wheel of Time – and ever since I started reading it as a teenager, I’ve found myself wanting to be in that world. It’s probably more a tribute to likable characters than anything else, but the fact that I would rather be in a situation where the end of the world is immanent than here surely says something about me. When faced with the fate of the world, none of the characters gives up. Sometimes they make stupid choices, but they never choose not to act.
They never really stagnate.
I think maybe this is why I read fiction. When you read a good story, you get absorbed in the world; more specifically, you get absorbed in a world already full of meaning. You don’t have to make it for yourself. Meaning is already included, told to you by the author, and in a good piece of fiction, you accept it.
I used to think that the appeal of fantasy to me was the character traits exhibited by people faced with a world gone mad – courage, honor, pride – things that seem to be lacking in the world today.
But it’s the meaning, I think, that I am lacking.
I don’t know if most people just accept the meaning they find in this world. I don’t know if they simply don’t see it as a burden or if everyone feels the pressure of carving out a life. One life. The only life you’re ever going to get. I’ve had conversations with my dad the past week about the limitations of human knowledge. Human beings are capable of knowing what they don’t know, and for some reason, I take this on as a heavy burden. It weighs on me. These limitations frustrate me more than I let on and there’s nothing I can do about it, nothing I can do about it at all, but let it go.
Let it all go.
The only things that make my life worth living, I think, are tears and laughter. I’m good at the tears. Tears come in solitude and solitude I have. It’s laughter that my life is lacking. Real laughter. The kind that comes from the absurdity of living in this place. The kind that comes from engaging in a world with others.
If you know me at all, you know I laugh a lot when I’m around other people, and I like making people laugh. My sense of humor is probably my most valuable possession, but I waste it by trying to navigate what can’t be navigated.
As another year ends and another begins, and many people make resolutions.
I only have two – to laugh and to let go.
Nothing else, really, is all that important.
Title taken from “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon.