Monday, January 16, 2006

What, really, is there to Understand?

There are days when I truly wonder about the wisdom of my ways. Some days I tend to wonder a little more than others. Following the mass hysteria commonly know as the Christmas season, moderately fed up with the meaningless debate about the political correctness of "Happy Holidays", "Merry Christmas, and "Season's Greetings", and mostly dismayed by the fact that I did not receive a much coveted I-pod in my stocking, I cleverly sought solace in the one refuge I was sure would restore the faith one more.

Thus once again I boarded the plane headed north.

Destination: The Arctic Circle.

Six years I've been searching the frozen tundra for some some sign that will miraculously make sense of everything. So far my studies have led me to discover:

Isolation.

It does strange things to a person. Strange things that creep up on you slowly and in such a way that you don't even realize what is occuring. Separated from society, cut off from the comforts of the modern world you quickly forget the mundane concerns that once plagued you. Suddenly warmth and running water become a luxury for which you are thankful. A well cooked meal is a gift from the gods.

And talking to yourself seems perfectly normal.

Spending close to third of my time inside the arctic circle leaves me with far too much time on my hands to contemplate the things which are truly important to me. It also has taught me a substantial amount about the things I am quite capable of doing without. It makes the trip back to civilization occasionally seem unbearable. Too many people taking too much for granted, too caught up in the drama of their own creation, too self absorbed with chasing a hollow dream and striving to get ahead. Too distracted by obscene displays of wealth and waste and a narrow, fanatical desire to get more of it for themselves.

Understandable, and likely inevitable, I suppose. Given everything, all basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter largely attended to, it now remains a matter of providing more expensive food, designer clothing, and an extravagant shelter to prove your value to society.

All superficial trappings designed to give yourself the illusion of meaning. Worth. Importance. Something to show you are needed. A special part of life. A unique cog in the mystical machine required for it to operate smoothly.

I can't help but wonder if I were to venture a little further from the safe, comfortable confines of my fabulously manufactured shelter and headed out to play with the cuddly little bears with the alabaster hair, what would happen when I didn't return? A quaint little funeral, a few tears, but then really... nothing. The machine would keep on going, my absence going essentially unnoticed. My greatest accomplishment to date? Providing a few bears with a snack.

Mayhaps it is better to just become a missing person and hope that somewhere, out there, someone actually notices?

Twisted perspectives. Perhaps everyone else on the planet is missing. And perhaps today I really don't care. Or perhaps they were never really there, simply a fabrication of a bored and empty mind crafted to give existence substance.

Or perhaps I just have a little frostnip of the brain.

Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that is still dark, cold, empty and unforgiving.

Which reminds me of a girl I once dated... but that is a story for another day.
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