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:


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.


Blogger zydeco fish said...

That sounds appealing. I've always wanted to learn how to build an igloo and hunt seals.

12:43 PM  
Blogger mcbickle said...

story for another day? why do you always leave the best for last?

uh, let's chalk this one up to your brain freezing its ass off. that is, assuming your brain does have an ass. let's assume that, yes.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Typhoid said...

I can't imagine there are many signs in the arctic.Maybe you should try somewhere else.
Somewhere with an abundance of signs.
Pretty blinking ones.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Hermes said...

Frsotnip of the brain? Like when you sip a Slurpee too fast?

It's a unique phenomenon to modern man... allowing our possessions to ultimately own us.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Earth Bound Misfit said...

Struggling... Must... not....

Oh, screw it...

I'd miss you and you know it. ;)

6:26 PM  
Blogger colonialave said...

Vex. Darling, I missed you. Reading this reminds me of the times I experienced culture shock when I first moved to the States.

Money and the abstract of convenience does funny things to people. We forget what's truly important.

Nice work here, Vex. To you:


8:25 AM  
Blogger extraspecialbitter said...

about being owned by one's possessions: no one object demonstrates this quite as clearly as a car. three of my children are of driving age; all have lusted for a car with a fervor which - if applied to their schoolwork - would have resulted in stellar academic performances. two now have cars, and are slowly learning what their father has been saying all along is true after all: that they have willfully signed their own death warrants.

got any room in that igloo?

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too, am in the arctic circle, and didn't realize it.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. Oh, and I think it is not so much the posessions. it's funny, because all the things that people strive for in society (food that isn't soybean oil sludge + food coloring, bigger houses for privacy's sake, time off for vacation) are all things we had before this newfangled civilization came along. So what's the point of it all? It's like we made extra work for ourselves for no reason.

Except the medicines I guess, but penicilin is really pretty low tech.

I say we burn it all down. Anyone with me?

10:05 AM  
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Blogger darkmuze said...

Its time to defrost Vex. Don't go missing for too long yeah?

10:36 PM  
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