Everywhere at the End of Time – Thoughts Part I
I’m currently 16 minutes 31 seconds into the YouTube album version of Everywhere at the End of Time by The Caretaker. This is about halfway through Stage I, which is described as:
Here we experience the first signs of memory loss. This stage is most like a beautiful daydream. The glory of old age and recollection. The last of the great days.
Honestly, it’s terrifying me.
I lost a grandma to dementia. We spent a lot of time together when I was young, but then my parents moved to a new city. I saw her less and less after that. One day, her lucidity began to go, and she became more frenzied as she was unaware of her deteriorating mental state.
It was terrifying for me to watch then, and to think about now.
Although I’ve processed it somewhat, I find the girders of my emotional foundation tensioned by the first 15 minutes of a 6 hour album.
Now, I’ve been affected by good music aplenty. Riding the frisson high from a good song never gets old. And I’ve run into tracks that grip a heartstring, tap a primal fear, and incite excitement. I’ve run into less songs that conjure a sort of existential dread.
It’s funny. I’ve seen “existential dread” referred to a lot. And, I’ve always sort of understood the feeling that those memes or tweets were going for. But, already, those thoughts are crystallizing into something more.
Those first 15 minutes draw up the same feelings I have when I look at a photograph of deep space. The immensity, the enormity. It’s overwhelming and inspiring. I feel the quote from Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell is just as relevant to the slow descent into nothing as it is to the enormity of space and the insignificance of Earth:
You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics looks so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
Politics is important. As a human, I have a vested interest in what goes on when it directly affects me on my perceivable timeline. At the same time, it is all totally meaningless.
I’ve been thinking of guiding principles for life, and one that keeps coming back is relationships. Happiness, worthiness, love, etc. are all manifestations of good relationships. Maybe that is truly the meaning in the meaningless.
I am going to write more of these as I go through the album. I don’t think I could do it all in one sitting, at least not initially. This is part of a series. It is also Day 18 of the #100DaysToOffload challenge.