Life, the Universe, and Everything

I’m currently reading “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, and finally enjoying it as it is meant to be enjoyed. For some reason, I’d started this book twice before and didn’t manage to get through it. Why this was so is mysterious to me because a) I rarely have trouble getting through books and b) it is very readable and hilarious and I have no idea why I ever set it down before.
Now, the whole bit about the Ultimate Question – to anyone who hasn’t read the book, this is a mysterious question about Life, the Universe and Everything – is brilliant, because we never actually know what the question is, although we’re told that the answer is “forty-two.” Why do I think this is brilliant? Because I think that actually both the question and the answer are absolutely useless.
I’ve never really pondered “the meaning of life,” or I haven’t phrased it in that way at least. Sure, I wonder often enough about my own life and the lives of my friends and loved ones, but ultimately, I really don’t think that we each have a single, all-consuming purpose in life, nor do we need an all-encompassing meaning.
No, I believe that life is a series of stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and others, and the only meaning that really matters is that which we give it – one day, it might be the delicious taste of a square of bitter chocolate after a long shift at work, and another it might be the intensity of love that pours out of us as we watch a loved one die in the hospital.
Life is fluid, the Universe is unfathomable, and Everything is what we make of it.

Sugar-Coated

Words on paper; black words on white paper, to be exact. Words, formed of letters, each individually meaningless shape coming together with others to create forms that the eye, or maybe the brain behind it, recognizes and understands. Words, meaningless things, really, when you get right down to it. Words are used to express every trite emotion in the book, every cliche of humanity. Words are nothing more than sounds rolling off the tongue, sticking between the teeth like bits of food that weren’t brushed out properly. Words are like phlegm, coming up the inner-tubing of the body and coughed out messily, loudly, sometimes violently. Words are just like any other bodily function – they serve their purpose, but they’re not to be discussed, not to be praised, not to be loved.

Of course, it isn’t so. If words are like food, they’re like the richest dessert, the most delicious cream-filled, frosted and glazed piece of chocolate cake that ever touched your pallet. If words are like bodily functions, then they’re like the satisfaction of a wide yawn, the comfort of a stretched muscle, the lulling sound of the pulse beating softly in the ears. If words are nothing more than sounds, then they’re like the sweetest music, the most¬†poignant, the most touching of all pieces ever composed by man.

Words are never simply anything. They’re never simply, for they’re never simple. Words are mazes, sentences are labyrinths, paragraphs are cities and pages are countries – novels are entire universes, poetry galaxies.

In the wrong hands words can be dangerous. In the right ones, they can save lives. Falling from the right pens, words can change the world. Dripping from those poisonous ones they can destroy it.

Words on paper. Simply words, or rather words, complicatedly.

From My Notebook

The title of this post could alternately be “What I Do At Work.” Meaning, I often do a lot more than answer calls and explain the inner-workings of credit limits during the hours sitting at a computer with a headset murdering my ear. I have a notebook, currently a sweet red one, that I keep with me at all times in my backpack. This notebook is a constant companion as I sit and work, and whenever I can, I scribble in it. Oftentimes, I’m just rambling about nonsense. At other times, I’m actually trying to write something of substance – a well phrased thought or a story, say. Today was one of those times when I was struck with a concept, and I started writing it. However, unlike other times, I ran out of what to do with it very quickly. I’d still like to put it down here, if only for future reference; in case I happen to think of how to continue it one day. And so, I present the following, copied from my very own hand-writing:

Corinne was dreaming again. She often dreamt, but normally didn’t remember her dreams. This was different, though.

She dreamt she was dressed in an elegant and very sheer white cloth. It was fastened over one shoulder with a golden clasp, leaving her other shoulder bare. On her head rested a crown, a delicate one, almost a tiara really, that was also made of gold. Corinne dreamt she was in a large and airy white building. There weren’t any walls, only many columns holding the roof up.

As she dreamt, she knew without a doubt that she was in a temple, and knew with even more certainty that she was a goddess. Which temple, which goddess – these were mysteries that didn’t seem to matter at that moment.

In her dream-world, she looked about her, trying to find either peers or subjects, but the temple was utterly empty. She was standing on a dais at one end of it, and had a good view of the whole space, so she had no doubt that she really was alone. With the same strange knowledge that told her she was a goddess, she knew also that she wouldn’t remain alone, nor the temple remain empty, for much longer.

She was right, and very soon, the temple filled.

This is as far as I’d gotten before my inspiration ran dry. I hate when that happens, but perhaps one day I’ll figure out if this leads to anything, and, if so, what it leads to. This is one of the things I’m learning as I go along – I discard many of my ideas, but I may come back to them, so I’m better safe than sorry by writing down the silliest of them even if it leads to naught.