meaning · nihilism · philosophy

Rainbows & Permafrost, Anthrax and Lollipops

2.1.19.gif“I’m having a mini-existential crisis… Erm, No, make that a full-blown existential crisis.”

Anthrax reindeer?

“Anthrax reindeer.  And, you know, I’m kind of excited about it; I’ve never had an existential crisis before.”

The end result of questioning what I want my legacy to be—and therefore what I want my life to be—in concert with the dawning awareness of the inevitable degradation of our planet is leading me into my first true existential crisis.

While surely there have been points in my life when the chips were terribly down and I questioned the point of putting myself through any further days, mainly those were of the stereotypical, “Life is awful, may as well end it,” crisis.  Whereas this is more of a, “Life is perfectly fine, if not really good, but so what?”

I’ve never had a ‘Life is Good’ existential crisis before.  I’m pretty curious about it!

I never studied philosophy; never read Man’s Search for Meaning; never read Sartre or Goethe or James.  What did they have to say about all this “sound and fury”?

I begin to apprehend Macbeth’s meaning when he intones after his wife’s suicide:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Whatever the “meaning” of the life we make now, whatever the legacy, whatever the impact (positive, negative, or neutral) we have on the world and those around us, in a few millennia or sooner, it’s all a dust bin anyway.

So, why bother?

Just the very human search for meaning is meaningless.  The narcissism of humans to think that it “means” anything at all!

I can be and am curious, I can be and am grateful.  I can laugh and love and enjoy and squee… but there is no “point” except the doing of it.

In the Deepak/Oprah meditation today, they said there is no beauty or awe or wonder until we create it.  A sunset is meaningless unless my consciousness gives it meaning.  They further underlined the “centering thought” for the day: My being embraces life with gratitude.  And I agree that there is merit to the idea that simply by being alive we are impelled to find the goodness in it, that by my being alive I am impelled to improve my own life, the lives of those around me, and the future humans of this planet by making choices that align with my moral and ethical values.

Yes, making positive choices since I’m here anyway is fine.  But.

Short of self-harm, let’s see what else I can discover in this nihilistic chapter that I’ve opened.


avoidance · community · connection · courage · disconnection · fear · laughter · life · love · meaning · messiness · purpose · vulnerability

"Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it. I would punch your life in the face." Scott Pilgrim Vol 4




As those of you who follow (or haven’t yet hidden) my
Facebook know by now, I’m actively looking for work. I have been, but some dam broke
this week, and I’ve pulled out more of the stops – those stops tend to look
like “fear of looking bad, desperate, needy.” However, SURPRISE! I feel those
things, so I guess if I look that way, then I’m just looking honest, huh?
I’ve been reading back into some of Brene Brown’s work
lately. I have her book The Gifts of Imperfection, and have been reading through the Amazon previews of her other two
books, most especially,
Daring Greatly, because it’s got her own biographical story at the beginning that includes the following exchange: 

      Therapist: What does it [vulnerability] feel like?
      Brene Brown: Like I’m coming out of my skin. Like I need to fix whatever’s happening and make it better.
      Th: And if you can’t?
      BB: Then I feel like punching someone in the face.
Nonetheless, what she goes on to discuss is the virulent necessity to
be vulnerable in order to achieve anything of worth, mainly love, connection,
and compassion.
People have commented to me often that what I write here is “so
honest.” Which I guess is another way of saying I allow myself to be vulnerable
here. Partly I do this because this is a protected forum. There are many layers
to getting here: You have to be my Facebook friend (or somehow have the link),
and then you have to click on it.
Well, two layers
So, this is a bit of a more private club than public. And I
suppose that I feel brave enough to share this all with those of you who have
leaped those two “massive” hurdles toward connection with me. If you’re this
interested, or amused, then why shouldn’t
you get to see some of me? Which this blog always is: some of me. – It’s honest, but it’s
not my diary, nor my therapist. (Aren’t you grateful!)
I suppose that mostly what I feel about sharing here, and why I feel it’s “safe” vulnerability, is that
you’ve probably felt this way, too. I have heard that feedback many times from people from wildly different arenas of my life and backgrounds and
We all feel the same
way at times. Have felt that way, or simply “get” what it feels like to do so.
In short, we are an empathetic and compassionate community
just by my writing and your reading. We create connection, however zero’d and
one’d it is, in this exchange of ideas.
I suppose I write all this today to say– No, to remind myself that
I have great capacity for courage, authenticity and vulnerability. I don’t mind
telling you about the depths because you’ve been there, and can relate. I don’t
mind sharing my journey into and out of the chaos of my brain, because,
surprise, you all have brains, too!
In this time when things for me feel uncertain and
uncharted, this blog is a constant and a place for me where I know that I can do and
be well. Even when I’m vomiting on this page, and raging into and at it, I know
you’re here, smiling, waiting for me to pull through. Or nodding and saying, Me
And. (Point):
If I have the balls to be as vulnerable and honest as I am
here behind these hurdles, then there is a significantly greater chance that I
can own my authenticity out in the “real” world.
Which I’m pretty sure is what all this mind-fucking job/meaning of life search is about, anyway.