Aman, thank you for your kind words; I wish I could find some meaning in all of this, but the older I get the more I realize that life has no meaning at all.
In 1937, my grandfather took his family from Germany to America to escape the Nazis. I can’t imagine the terrors he endured while living as a Jew in Germany and emigrating with nothing to a new country. But those nights he spent staring at the ceiling and crying are lost in time, just as he is.
I have a daughter whom I love more than breathing. I’ve spent 23 years worrying about how I would protect her from all the harms and dangers on the planet, but someday, perhaps in 10 years or 20 years or 30 years, my days of worrying about her will be over and then in another 40 or 50 so will she.
Whether she loves me or hates me after I’m gone and for the duration of her life she will remember me. But after that, all trace of me will be gone. All the things I thought were so significant, the pining for women I’ve loved and lost, the guilt I hold for my long dead father, the love I have for my child, will dissolve into the ether and be no more.
When I was a teacher and a counselor I touched some lives, maybe even saved a few, but when they’re gone any good deed I’ve done will be rendered insignificant.
The twenty I gave the homeless couple, will ease their hunger for a day or so, but after that the same old shit. The best I’ve ever done is put band-aids on mortal wounds. But it does’t matter.
We can name the great artists of history, great minds, great writers great philanthropist, but inevitably the world will forget them no matter their level of greatness…
Except maybe the Beatles and Dylan.
We know the names of great historical leaders, some going as far back as 5,000 years, but they’re long dead and their personal struggles will never be known to us beyond the superficial. We will never know their dreams, their fears, while alive and the agonies and all-consuming significance they felt upon dying. And in another five thousand years humans won’t remember their names or their works.
My daughter never knew my grandfather just as I never knew his father or mother; I never knew Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, or Chaucer. And someday no one will even know they existed.
I’m unable to sleep because I can’t stop thinking about those 2,000 plus terrified children separated from their parents right here in America and the children in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Palestine all suffering because of American bullets, bullets I paid for with my tax dollars. Part of me is screaming inside, but another part of me knows humans have practiced cruelty and murder since the first ape stood upright. None of this matters in the scheme of time.
Nothing lasts. Nothing we do in this life is truly significant. Except maybe pizza (and it has to be good New York Pizza) and Chinese food… And even that turns to shit.