I am trying to trace down the etymology of the word “consolation,” wondering if it is necessarily related to “isolation.” Alas, there are no clear answers, but are there ever?
I am reminded of the tag line to the new “A Scanner Darkly” movie starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Rider (which I am still dying to watch) As the trailer proclaims, “Everything is not going to be OK.”
A Scanner Darkly happens to be one of my favorite books by Philip K Dick, fraught with passages that reaved my heart.
The one that struck me the most was this:
But the actual touch of her lingered, inside his heart. That remained. In all the years of his life ahead, the long years without her, with never seeing her or hearing from her or knowing anything about her, if she was alive or happy or dead or what, that touch stayed locked within him, sealed in himself, and never went away. That one touch of her hand.
The sense of passing time is painfully acute these days, mostly as I approach that arbitrary milestone of turning 30, and I can’t help but wonder what doors are permanently closed. What passageways will I never be able to take, what sorts of things have I lost along the way? Are there doors to my soul that are not only locked up and barricaded, but maybe even walled in?
The idea that there is One Thing™ left remaining to me features powerfully in my mind. That the rest of my life will be to discover what this One Thing™ is, and then my only task will be to fulfill it, at the expense of everything else.
I feel like I am embarking on my final Quest, whatever that may be.
In my saner moments, I recognize that I am being unnecessarily eschatologic and apocalyptic.
Every ending becomes a beginning. I know not the appointed day nor hour, and every fleeting moment is still something new, and all I have to do is think of my memories of the sun, glittering over the endless ocean, or burning through bank of fog, and realize that the possibilities are far from being exhausted.
I believe that every person is eventually forced to tread their own path. It is not for me to decide who will come with me, if anyone will even come with me.
My destiny is my own.
Somewhere in the depths of my memory, I remember a fragmented scrap of a poem, or maybe an essay: Be consoled, although I do not say be contented.
Whatever needs to be, will be, whether I have any part in it or not.