The world is a hazy, chemical alabaster. At least, that is the summation of the first few moments of a child’s life. The man made sun above glares at her as she tries to absorb the whole world in one tiny breath. White legs, white sheets and four white walls. White arms in white coats pass her from one world to the next and she floats on white clouds of white noise. Machines beeping, orderlies bustling around- the indistinguishable buzz of human sound. It’s a lot for an infant of only one hour to take in, but still, that remains her desire; to swallow the world in one bite. It’s hard to explain the existence of life- even harder to understand it- but for the newest inductees, the world simply is, and understanding isn’t so important as experiencing it. First, she feels her own warm breath on her mother’s legs- a stark contrast to the cool, stale air into which she is pushed. She steals her first glimpses at the light, and initially, it falls softly, like snowflakes into her eyes. Then, all at once, the brilliance is too much, and the snowflakes meld together and the sear the poor girl’s retinas. The infant then hears the pained shrill of her own first cry. This small taste is already too much for the newborn to take in. The world cannot be consumed in one bite. It must be rationed. Disciplined. Greed only leads to overwhelming disappointment and suffering. Having adjusted to the light, and innocently mesmerized by the glowing numbers 11:59 beside her hospital bed, the baby girl had not been alive nearly long enough to recognize the significance of time, but when the clock flipped over to midnight, she had already learned so much.
Another 15 minutes of writing, another paragraph spat on the page, but all the words in the world couldn’t empty the sorrow from her soul. 18 years later, the girl still tried to experience all of life at once instead of separating it and taking in a small portion of it at a time. It would seem she still had yet to learn the valuable lesson presented to the girl at her life’s premiere. Or maybe she was without care. Perhaps the girl preferred lumps of moldy cheese to descend from her instead of the purified water of wisdom to pour. Life’s tumult had shaken her, roused her. She feigned an air of mystery. Of shock. Deliberately she scribbled on the pages, desperately attempting to convey all that her heart contained, but to no avail. Moldy cheese cannot pour out any better than water can sustain its shape without a container. Wisdom is only useful within the confines of reason, and the girl had long ago abandoned reason. Suffering did not obey the whims of reason, so why should she? Retrospectively, the indignant girl actually doesn’t remember a single moment of her birth, but has spent several imagining it. She has spent many collective hours visualizing the restoration of the myriads she has lost over the past 18 years. Alas, the past abides only in her memories, a harbored stowaway. The girl is unable and unwilling to let go and move forward until she has ransacked every corner and crevice for meaning and understanding beyond the confines of reason. Her infant self was correct, as people age, they often trade in valuable life experiences for a futile desire to understand. They relegate themselves to the past and the future, and refuse to make their peaceful home in the present.
Here is the sad and ugly, but undeniable truth:
The person you were does not exist. She died the moment a second passed and will be reborn moment after moment, again and again until the day you die. Any hope for a future you should be stopped dead in its tracks right now. You don’t exist there either. Stop chasing the wind long enough to realize that the only moment that truly matters is the one that’s flying past right now. Don’t stand idly by. Go catch it. No amount of cheese will ever make you a mouse, nor are you destined for tragedy. You’re the trapper, not the trapee. You are a human, not a mouse. Pour torrent upon all the world! Grate the moldy cheese in your soul and make room for the purified wisdom of life to pour into you.