Lately, I’ve spent majority of my quarantined days and nights considering the ways in which we embrace each other in times of uncertainty and social distancing. More specifically, my mind wonders and ponders the ways in which one’s quest for great love can be altered in an age of nihilism.
Contrary to popular belief, deep, long lasting connections are far more difficult than an internet provider would like us to believe. In an age where cynicism is the price you pay for passion and starry eyes, where can we hide our love? Our delight? Our desire for connections that make nihilism seem like a game for adults. Yes, adults—because dreaming is a child’s game, one played and mastered by those who can fight and unlearn the calloused practices of selfishness, competition and limitlessness.
And maybe competition, callousness are parts of your game— but that’s exactly my point. The games we play—good, sometimes bad— can reflect the ways in which we fight nihilism. Perhaps because something within us clings to ideas greater than ourselves. Clinging to passion, art, desire. Dreams. Something within us clings to dreams, to mystery.
We connect and we dream. We long for deep connections and conversations. We find ways to dream, to sing and to laugh when life is filled with uncertainty and loss. In moments when asking our Creator why? seems like a daily activity, I find clarity. Though I know our lives in the West will only become faster and more jammed packed, the hopeless (and somewhat naive) romantic in me believes that capitalism will only stand in my path to great love if I succumb to its bedroom eyes and promises of great fortune.
I do my best not to fall victim to anything or anyone. Nevertheless, I try not punish myself when I do; when you know better, you do better. When the patriarchy, racism and demands of a neoliberal agenda hang heavy on my mind I force myself to slow down.
Still, make no mistake, tragedy doesn’t always bring us to crystal clarity. This isn’t a movie on Lifetime. Sometimes this kind of healing is derived from places we never thought possible. Sometimes we learn before we heal and just ignore the pain. Sometimes healing isn’t possible and our skin hardens. Not for long though, water erodes rock.
I never imagined that a phone call to a friend and a two-hour long conversation would be the modern-day equivalent to a horse and carriage. Getting me through the tough days when everything seems painful and foggy.
I’d make a terrible nihilist. I can’t help it. Things are too magical to mean nothing. And fuck, if this is what meaninglessness looks like what level of mind-binding beauty does meaningfulness possess?
Our ability to make magic of of misery makes nihilism impossible. I used to think Happily Ever After was the aspiration, but I realize now it has always been perseverance and the resilience of the human spirit that made Fairytales worth reading.