Sunday, November 23, 2008

things that don't matter

as you get older and older (edging ever closer and closer to your very last moment in the rat race) the list of things that don't matter gets longer and longer, ironically enough.

because, when you were a child, you had no such list.

life is pretty amusing (in a tragic sort of way).


indeed, in the end (and all along the way) the list of things that truly don't matter gets increasingly elaborate and complex.

the petty stuff becomes clearer (and pettier), and yet, surprisingly, your own involvement in it all is far more comprehensive than you ever thought possible.


for instance, in all probability you're currently entangled in a big important pettiness and therefore unable to see the lush forest for the burned-out trees.

fortunately, it's not at all difficult to become acutely aware of all the things you're currently wasting your precious time on -- ridiculous obsessions and pointless activities that truly don't matter in the least bit.

all you have to do is this:

hold your breath.

yes, just like you did as a child (probably while in a bathtub or a pool).

seriously, try this experiment.

on the count of three, take a very deep breath... and hold it in... except, THIS time, instead of attempting your longest breath-holding endurance (or making childish demands), imagine that what you just took so deeply into your lungs was... your very last breath.


are you ready?

ok. here comes the count:




now, assuming that you're sincerely contemplating this as your actual very last breath ever, about four to five seconds in, true perspective will arrive.

and as the subsequent seconds mockingly tick by... and the pressure builds... the almost-comical list of things that obviously don't matter becomes _incredibly_ long and winding, like the proverbial road.

and yet, as long as that road surely is, it's a very short walk to reach enlightenment about the frightening enormity of the list of things that simply don't matter at all.


again, remember that, when you were a child, you had no such list.

because life is pretty amusing (in a tragic sort of way).


all of the silly battles.

and many of the pointless pursuits.


yet, when you were a child, even a trip to the idiotic circus could be a wonderful thing.

let alone all of the simple non-clownish joys you likely experienced.

like a race in the grass.

or a couple bags of marbles.

throwing balls back and forth.

playing cards.

an ice cream cone.

a blank piece of paper.

a couple of crayons.

a swim.




love like a child.

like a child who has grown up.


unfortunately, as the years pass from here on in, many of us will forget to love like a child who has grown up.

and on our deathbeds, as we're quietly fading to black, as the light grows dimmer and dimmer, as the sounds mute lower and lower, as we're weakly contemplating the final fade out... at that time, if we're not busy praying, we'll surely be recalling a few more things that just don't matter...

and then, suddenly, jumping up, now alert and strong, we'll boldly grab a pen and pad to desperately and resolutely jot down two or three MORE items -- adding them to our very own personalized, astonishingly huge, tragic list of things that just don't fucking matter!

because we are clowns.

we are stupid little clowns with big floppy feet and bright red noses.


No comments: