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On Absurdity

Less than a decade ago I had a cousin quite suddenly become ill and die.

Looking back, that has colored my life more than I would have guessed.

I mean, cousins are family, but really, most of us spend a majority of our day to day lives, not thinking about our cousins.

They are people to be considered during holidays, or perhaps slightly before, almost never at any other times.

So if you had asked me beforehand, how I would have reacted to a sudden death of a cousin, I would have guessed that I'd be suitably distraught, but that life would go on.

Life did go on, certainly. But in the 5 years that followed, not a day did not pass without me thinking about my cousin who no longer was.

I think it is safe to say that I used to be a strong adherent to Absurdism.

It is a seductive philosophy, simple at it's core, and seemingly easily applicable to all things.

Everything is random, nothing matters.

It is joyous and freeing idea, and I found it a cool balm to the alternative: "there is totally meaning, and you just haven't figured out what it is or where to find it"

The random death of a relative seems to fit right in with Absurdism. Something terrible happened to someone who absolutely did not deserve it. Wham. That's meaninglessness for ya!

But it didn't at all to me.

I realize looking back, Absurdism is also an excuse to avoid looking to close at terrible things that happen. If there is no meaning than there isn't much point in even acknowledge unfairness or uglyness.

When you swallow a foreign, indigestible object, your body tries to slime it with a slick lubricating substance, to help it pass.

Absurdism is normally that slick substance. Terrible thing? Let's just shrug and shake a fist at a star filled void! Ploosh! Away and in the toilet and forgotten!

The death of my cousin, however, was thoroughly lodged in my throat. A structural card in the castle of my psyche that had been placed before I made memories.

For a simple reason, that her death mattered very much to me. It meant something to me, and therefore could not be danced away with a knowing wink at the swirling chaos

I often long and yearn for that old feeling. Especially these days? Oh, what an unburdening it would be, and how natural it would be to revel in the stark silliness of current events. When truth is literally incontinent. Turning about and confronting the fourth wall of the stage we seem fit to be on seems to be a far more logical choice then nail biting our wringing hands.

But I am an old man now who will never learn how to do that again. For I have fallen into the trap of caring deeply about stuff and things.

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