Meaninglessness

It is odd, but I am a bit relieved that my “view count” is back to its normal flat-line self for this blog. I posted intermittently until the beginning of this year when I decided to use it as a vehicle to challenge myself to write more. It was a bit unnerving when it started showing some activity. Who wants that kind of pressure? As far as I know, my wife is the only one who reads each of these. (She also fixes my grammar mistakes.)

For some reason I feel more comfortable throwing words into the void. My page tells me that 44 people are subscribed via email. I don’t know who. I don’t know if they read it. It might just be quietly slipping into their spam folder for all I know.

Now, this isn’t some back-door plea for attention and recognition. If you are reading this, please don’t feel any need to make yourself known. That’s how writing works.

I prefer to read dead people. The longer the better. A few of my favorites have been dead over 1,000 years. I don’t have any way to “comment” on their work to them. I underline and jot notes in margins, but as far as I can tell, they don’t know that.

As I race toward 45 years on this planet, I find myself coming to understand Ecclesiastes a bit more. I don’t have it all figured out; it’s a rather opaque book in places. However, the refrain of “meaningless” scattered throughout it seems borne out by experience.

When you think about it—or at least when I think about it—one way to summarize our experience of life is that we are just waiting to die. We all sit on this unrelenting conveyer that we call “time” and it carries us along until we are swept off by death.

What do we do while we wait?

I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.

(Ecclesiastes 3:10-15 ESV)

“Eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” We should try to enjoy the ride. Not in a hedonistic way, but in a comfortable-in-our-own-skin kind of way that acknowledges that this is all temporary. No matter what I do, one day I, and it, will be forgotten in this world.

Maybe, just maybe, some of my words will endure, but that is unlikely. I’m not writing a blog to pursue literary immortality. No, I pray for immortality. I write because I take pleasure in writing.

To write honestly for the rest, one must write fundamentally for oneself. (source)

Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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Filed under Death, Writing

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