The Battle At Dawn

It’s A Good Day To Die

I know the fear of death, but it brings no urgency to my life. If I died today, there is nothing I would regret missing out, nothing I would wish I had more time for. Indeed, my greatest concern is to let people know what to do with my ‘stuff’ when I’m gone (always the extra-efficient one, you see).

These are not the musings of a man bound by morbidity or fascinated with death. These are not my final words. These are just thoughts, a window into a conversation. If you were ever concerned, this isn’t the thing to be concerned about. Send me an iPad instead.

For a second, it feels as if I only worry for others, how their lives might turn out, and maybe that concern could give my life purpose. But upon closer inspection, I feel divorced from such emotions. Long cut off. I do not wish death – I don’t want to, or have any urge to, give up – but I really dont know what I’m living for.

The sun is rising. I wait for a spark, some inspirational breakthrough. New challenges in life? Devoting my life to helping others? No. Nothing. Death comes in many forms to the living.

In constant pain, I severed the bonds of love and ambition to cure the heartbreak. Now, love, ambition and heart have been well and truly set adrift. Bridges have been burned, idols toppled and castles of sand kicked to the ground.

I am the god of dust – everything in my reach, nothing in my grasp.

And as much as I would like to finish with that line, it’s not the full story. To feel that you’re capable of doing everything and yet in the same breath denounce yourself for doing nothing, it is nothing but weak, selfish / lazy prattling. And because it is weak, there is often only one answer to it, and that’s the second part of this little story.

Sidenote: An excellent look at institutionalised apathy, via TedTalks.

War. War Never Changes.

Yet it changes everything.

The language of war is uncomfortable, it’s purpose undesirable. War is greed, war is death. On the other hand, we celebrate ‘warriors’ for their spirit, and we praise their fighting qualities – from survival instinct to irrepressible self-belief to eternal persistance – as the pinnacles of human nature. We hate wars (or at least we say we do),but we all aspire to be as good, as big, as courageous, as successful, as noble, and as alive, as warriors.

When faced with nothingness – and if you keep your eyes open, you’d be amazed to know how often one faces it – there is only one answer: you have to find a way to survive, and that means going to war.

It’s the only thing I know. I’m far from good at it (this isn’t a self-congratulatory exercise). But I’m constantly reminded of how important this habit of fighting back is, and how little we nurture it in friends, family, loved ones and especially children. In a society that’s geared to instill obedience, in a world where following orders is your first and only life lesson, we’ve developed few useful habits, and we’ve completely suppressed the war within.

Sidenote: This is not a call to action for social or political or religious dogma. You are free (and encouraged) to find your own wars to fight.

It doesn’t matter what your views on life’s ‘grand purpose’ are. It might have meaning for you, it might be a stepping stone to a greater destiny, or it might simply be nothing. In each and every case, you can either fight your war to make the most of your time here, or you can drift away in apathy, twiddling your thumbs and biding time. You can give your life purpose, or you can purposefully let it drift. You can create and change the world, or you can waste your single opportunity. The challenge is having the awareness to know the difference, and having the sense to make the right call.

When the sun rises, you have a choice. You can go to war, or you can go to hell. In the end, it’s the only decision that matters. Choose wisely.

Leave a Reply