The world is not something that can be summed up. There is no fitting coda for the history of all that has taken place on this planet. If I’m honest (or perhaps the right word is teleological) about things, I believe that humanity was a weird experiment. Something evolved, through luck and systemic complexity, that was capable of turning the world upside down and rebuilding the environment to suit our needs, instead of the other way round.
Like Prometheus, we were playing with fire from the very beginning. From the looks of how things turned out, we got burnt. But hopefully not too badly.
Yeah. We fucked up. The world is crumbling around us and we didn’t make it. But if this all happened once, it might just happen again. Evolution works on the law of averages. If there’s some cockroaches and bacteria left behind, then eventually life will thrive again. Tie enough eventuallys together and you probably get something else as large brained and big headed as humanity.
And they’ll get a chance to not fuck it up quite so badly.
We’ve had a shot. And I’d like to think in some ways we tried our best. But this is definitely no place for optimism, at least not retrospectively speaking.
The truth is, we fucked up. We argued and fought and squabbled and bought and sold and screwed each other. Endlessly.
There may have been a way out of this mess, if we’d just worked together sooner and harder. If we’d recognised the similarities in all of us earlier than as we all finally realise we’ve run out of space and time and anything else.
Here, staring into the void, we can probably finally feel a siblinghood. A common fear and panic that unites us all.
I suspect we’re still all expressing it as desperate competition for the last remaining resource. Time.
But we did try.
We’ve come a long way baby.
Sure, if we tried harder, we might have reached the stars in time to escape. If we’d learnt more we might have been able to stop this.
But we didn’t. So now it’s our opportunity to bow out gracefully. To realise that it’s over and it’s no longer our time.
Exeunt, said the playwright. Time for the next act.
Take your time. Look at the beauty we’ve been buried in all this time. Watch the sun pass by and the clouds twirl around. Sit at the top of the tree and breathe deep of this world.
This is our last chance, before we pass it on to something else, back into the hands of the blind watchmaker, or whatever it is that keeps things running.
Hope for the best.
Hope for something better to come after. But remember that we won’t be there to see it.
Our lives are not something that can be summed up. There is no fitting coda. But our lives have been something.
That’s all you’ve got.
Hope it was worth it.
Illustration by Graeme.