Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nose/noes/knows.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!
Note: To those of you who don’t like mopey posts, I will let you know that this gets weirdly, philosophically, kind of positive towards the end, if you squint and tilt your head. And an adult beverage or six might help with that, too.
Noes make up an awful lot of my whatsthepoint-ism, connected to the inertia I wrote about for the A-to-Z Challenge. Is there a point to…? Name the issue of the moment when under the throes of my inertia and generally the answer is, “No.” I have an abundance of noes. The richness of my noes to my soul is much like a heady bouquet is to my nose. The depth of my noes knows no bounds. (Sorry, I kind of had to there.)
Some noes I just totally concoct. If I can’t instantaneously create a meaningful, well-crafted, mind-blowing poem in about an hour, having had no training in the craft of poetry, then is there even a point to starting to write a poem? No. It is going to suck. The world will roll their collective eyes and scoff at my idiocy.
Oh sure, I have friends, therapists, normal people, even sometimes my own self when I’m not deep in the inertia weeds, who will (correctly) point out: The point is that I enjoy it. The point is that it is something that I want to do. The point is that it is those things AND it doesn’t permanently damage anyone else in the process (I’m not so sure that bad poetry doesn’t inflict some damage…).
But, NO, I’m convinced there is no point. To the poem. To the blog post. To the vignettes I write. To the drawings I do. To the photography I do in a virtual world. Furthermore, there is no point to being in that virtual world. And the virtual relationships? Really? Sure they are real people on the end of the email, the IM, the Skype, the SecondLife avatars and chats, but is there a point? Why do we do anything? In one hundred years will it even matter? No. Most of us will be very forgotten, the great recipe for enchiladas you mastered will not matter… just… no. Nothing matters, really.
Now, there IS a very interesting positive spin to this whole nihilistic, nothing matters, Festival of Noes… if you follow it all the way down the rabbit hole. I am not a philosopher by trade and my knowledge of Optimistic Nihilism* is pretty thin, and so don’t hold me to it. But it wouldn’t matter if you did. (See what I did there? If the answer is yes, then: nerd.)
If nothing matters then, yay! nothing matters! And so, it really does not, quite literally, matter if you fuck up your life! That choice where you should have zigged but you zagged? Doesn’t matter. So quit beating yourself up about it! Don’t sweat worrying about should you zig or zag tomorrow. As I understand Optimistic Nihilism (tentatively), it isn’t that you go around being a jerk though because nothing matters. In fact, it is quite the opposite. An Optimistic Nihilist doesn’t believe there is an afterlife. This is it. This is your one shot. So, while what you do with it may not matter on a grand, universal scale, it does kind of matter to you. You probably should spend it doing things that are beneficial to you, and that takes on a bigger picture in that you should probably be doing beneficial things for your environment, your family, your… everything. Because it is all you’ve got, you end up being a very ethical person. It gets a little oxymoronic, agreed, because if none of it matters in the long run, well make good with it while you can.
Nihilism (all types) is not pessimism, cynicism or apathy.
I would suggest copious amounts of adult beverage while listening to trance-rock on a loop to help you navigate through this mire. Or, watch Netflix** instead because… and you know what I’m going to say here: It doesn’t matter.
In the end, that bad poem doesn’t matter. Write ten more of them if it gets you off.
In the end, all of the noes turn into, ok, sure, why not? Yes, I can try that.
Weird, huh? Bet you didn’t see that ending coming.
* I don’t know if I believe in nihilism or not, optimistic or not. It depends on the day you ask me, and perhaps how much adult beverage I’ve had and what’s on the music loop. And yes, oddly, I could believe in that and still do the converting-to-Judaism thing, although that would get trickier since the whole nihilistic bit tends towards atheism, and well… Yeah. No one wants to hear this ramble. 🙂
** I recommend that you binge Season 1 of Russian Doll because Season 2 will be available soon after only a three-year hiatus!