29 August 2014
Persistence of Time
One of the buildings at the Diamond Mine...
"Time moves on
that's the way,
We live and hope
to see the next day,
That's all right...
your life's your own,
'Cuz in the end
we're all just dust and bones..."-Guns n' Roses
It bordered upon heartwrenching when I first beheld the ruin. When last I'd been there, not but a week or two before, it was still standing tall. Back when I'd first moved here, the walls were largely intact. It was only a winter or two ago that they began to fall prey to pot hunters and Backcountry vandals.
A homicidal growl pushed past my thin lips and I made no effort to stop it. I wanted to find the authors of this destruction and stab them in the chest. Thirty-seven times. Thirty-eight would be excessive.
What?!? Think of it as evangelical Buddhism; the First Noble Truth is the realization of suffering. Feel the pain?
I had to let it go. Chalk it up to people suck instead of feeding that dragon. All across our Sahel, I have seen examples of affronts both to the wilderness and to the ruins of those gone before. It saddens sickens me.
Still, we live in an extreme environment. Wind, rain, freeze, and thaw can do as much damage, if not more, than any half-bald primate with scavenger's lust or small genitalia trying to impress someone-sometimes a combination of both. Even a place like Santiago, which us mill stewards managed to get a new roof on, will one day crumble into nothing more than splintered wood and rusted metal.
Nothing lasts and everything changes. That's the way of it. Even the stars die. Immortality is a curious jack-off fantasy at best, and a cruel joke at worst.
I used to dread the march of years. Of getting older. Old was a terrifying concept to me. Now, I sort of look forward to it in a strange way.
A man in a warehouse told me once you reached thirty, you no longer had a bad attitude, you were opinionated. I was twenty-three at the time. A few years later I found I was cultivating the attitude of some older curmudgeons I know; here I am, you're looking at it. Although, I think I've established that I have a hard time caring about the social construct of reality in context to me.
Unless we want to poke at it for comedic value...
I confess that wasn't always the case. During my roaring twenties, even and especially about this time of year, I would note my chronological age and question what, if anything, I had accomplished. Sometimes, I would get morose because I didn't have the success one was suppose to have. Other times, whatever it is that has kept me on my Tao of Chaos would rise up in defiance. It finally hit me one day that, indeed, I've gotten to be who and what I wanted to be if I got close to growing up, and that's a grand revelation to have.
The seasons change and world marches on. Ruins fall further into decay. Mountains grind down to dust. Oceans dry. Young stars hurtle closer to their million-year long death-throes. So it goes.
It only becomes depressing if you give it that kind of power. Me? I find a queer sort of poetry in the infinite finality, knowing the only thing that doesn't change is that everything changes.