Saturday, March 07, 2015

...And Taxes

Nothing in life is certain.  Nothing but death, and death is the thing we expend so many of our precious resources trying to tame.  With little to no result.  We put the collective and several resources of all of our greatest sciences to the task of cheating death, staying it's hand, understanding it's motivations and lessening the unfathomable maw that is its inevitability.
We wear seat belts and take multivitamins and go to church and pay our mortgages and get annual physicals and eat blueberries to keep our fragile fleshy physicalities healthy, striving to keep death at bay.
Because we know it can be around any corner.  You can slip and fall in the bathroom and be dead tomorrow, or live to be 100, cursing all those weekends at the gym for ruining your precious joints.

Which is to say that even the only sure thing in life is still infinitely unknowable. 

And yet.  We bash our thick skulls against the wall that is uncertainty, begging it to be other than what it is.  Uncertainty is uncomplicated, plain and undeniable, and yet we beg it to alter itself, to give us a hint, to show us its hand before we have to play the game.  We human beings, with all of our biology and chemistry and philosophy and sociology are always trying to bend uncertainty to our will, to make it its opposite, to make it certain.
It will not be certain,  nothing will.  Not even in death will the certainty we strive for wash over us like a cooling balm.

There is a Talking Heads song in this vein:
Heaven, Heaven is a place; A place where nothing, Nothing ever happens
The song goes on to describe common situations repeating themselves endlessly for all eternity in heaven.  This song generally makes me cry, because I can understand the appeal of imagining a heaven where nothing ever changes, where nothing happens.  The sweet embrace of absolute certainty.

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