The Meaning of Life.
I’m sitting on a bus, rolling through the hills. Staring out of the window up at a sky almost artificial-looking, heavy grey storm clouds punctuated by a colossal, billowing, sun-struck white cloud and streaks of lightning. Rain falls, light at the moment, but always threatening torrential downpour. Reading about the Tokyo sarin attacks of 1995, through the eyes and ears of Murakami.
This is the kind of situation in which I find myself thinking most about life, and the meaning of it. When my senses are bombarded with information; visual, aural or otherwise.
Are we ever meant to know what it all means? Or is the point to always ponder, always push the limits of our imagination in wonder? I do this a lot; for me it’s a hazard of having such an overactive, analytical mind. It’s near-impossible to switch off and equally tough to regulate or exercise dominion over. All I can do is accept my role as the passenger to it, and hope that something logical or profound, something concrete, comes of it.
So, what is life all about? I have to be reasonable here and accept that some things concerning the meaning of it all – nay, most things – are beyond my comprehension. It stands to reason, really – call it higher power, call it evolution, call it what you will – I don’t think it makes sense for me to constantly chase something that according to logic may be philosophically and/or physiologically impossible to understand. So, I don’t.
I suppose there are a few ways to measure or determine the meaning of life, if you’re one of those who needs to label everything. Obvious candidates would be success and legacy – what you accumulate during your seventy-or-more-or-less years, be it monetary wealth, physical possessions, status or otherwise; and what you leave for those around long after your death, how well your name remains known on a local, national or international level. Another could be to judge yourself morally, or be judged by your peers – how good were you as a person? Do you lie there on your deathbed, full of regret? No doubt there are those who do just that, and those who do otherwise. Also, one assumes some expire still pondering the meaning of it all.
For me, I don’t think any of these apply, at least not in a major, defining way. I can’t necessarily pinpoint why; I just don’t find myself thinking about the importance of those things to me too much. The one idea I do keep being drawn to is the idea of the journey – not the endgame, nor the sum of all my efforts, but the process in which I get from birth to death.
The people I meet, the languages I learn, the cultures I become immersed in and the places I have the pleasure of seeing with my own eyes… a physical, spiritual, moral journey in which my eyes have perpetually continued to have been opened and my mind continued to have been expanded in exponentially-beneficial ways.
I have always considered myself a nomad.
I think, after twenty-nine years of travelling through life, I’m finally realising that I’m not just a nomad in the physical sense.
I don’t believe I would have it any other way.