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  • Writer's pictureartahammer

To Live

What a joy is this life. An impossible journey on a well charted path over treacherous terrain within volumes of well-occupied space. Sprawled out before us, above us, below us, around us, always new yet ever the same. There’s more than we can know, more than we dare to know, with the capacity to know and expand or enhance that knowledge as long as we have a mind to. We gather information, learn from experiences, figure things out all within our minds, the active parts of our brains.

We can hear it, every day, everywhere. We can see it, where and whenever we look. We can smell it, always changing, some less enticing than others. We can taste it and it offers so many delectable flavors, some which combine impeccably, deliciously, some which are gladly washed away or concealed under savory palliatives. We can feel it upon our skin, under our feet and clutched in our hands. We can perceive it, consider it, imagine it. It surrounds us, it consumes us, it is us.

It is a biological force that compels all vital things, from cellular structures, bacterium, amoeba and countless microscopic organisms to plants on land and beneath the seas, producing oxygen from abundant carbon dioxide, creating a breathable atmosphere, first under the water, then upon land. Without plants there would be no humans or any other life dependent upon pulmonary function. Without water, there would be no plants. Humans and the Earth’s surface are about 75% water, this is common among mammals – very juicy. We are all water-babies. Of it and from it. Just water, nothing really more special than that. Yet isn’t that itself pretty amazing. All we’ve seen and done, all that we are and know is just water in different shapes. Humbling and unifying – we are all this way, no more, no less.

In thrall of others, we seek them out, for their presence makes us crave socialization. Socialization makes us thrive, for in it our experience is broadened while our isolation is diminished. In the faces of others, we find ourselves reflected and within that reflection we find a deeper understanding of who we are within the broader social context. In socialization we are reminded of the distinction between the lives lived in our minds and our lives within the social construct where we are equally compelled to and we choose to interact. In our minds, those unique repositories of individual and collective experience, we know of worlds invisible to others where we posit our finest self and recoil at our lowest impulse.

Life is a temporary condition upon an infinite plane, a brief interlude of thriving, bookended by eternities of peace and mindless solitude. Nothing to do and no urgency that it be done. Peace. All that we have gathered and all that we carry around which we define as us can only be as us. When we stop being, our baggage and treasure is no longer necessary, we’re no longer there to schlep it around and everyone else is too wrapped up with their own to lug it for us. We do not leave, but instead change our composition. We are free. No demands, no guilt, no anger, no shame, in the journey’s end comes the end of pain. Peace.

To know love, to rejoice in laughter, to revel in beauty, to delight in satiety, to relax in comfort, to celebrate in ecstasy, these make this journey worth all of its pain and sadness, this makes it the single gift by which all others must pale in comparison. We enjoy our brief interlude, it lives large within us all the days of our journey. At the end, our great loves and wondrous experiences carry us to the further plane, where we can finally rest content in lives lived as well as we could muster.


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