Thursday, February 14, 2008

A cRisiS?

Every now and then, I am struck by what I call an ‘existential crisis’. The question “What is the meaning of my life?” pops into my head and blazes like the neon lights in Las Vegas, 24-hour hangover included.

I remember watching an episode of Alf long time ago, and he said something that stayed with me through the years. “… pondering the vicissitudes of life…” It took me a long time to learn the spelling of the word and to figure out its meaning.

I like figuring out the meaning of things. My species-ism rests entirely on the theory that humans are superior to other animals because of our meaning-seeking nature. I don’t suppose a cockroach thinks to himself, “Now what is the meaning of my harried existence, scuttling and flying from room to room to avoid being doused by insecticide?”

Generally, pop-psychology self-help books talk about how tragedy brings meaning to life, that people see the light when they have undergone some traumatic experience, that our purpose is to leave behind some sort of legacy for our progeny, that we find meaning in the little things that we do every day. Problem is, existential questions do not lend themselves to easy and neat answers. Most of the time, it’s just muddling around trying not to drown.

We live, to leave.

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