No, not the Michael Penn song—although that still holds up, as does the album it’s from 1—but rather I’m thinking back on this flood of prescriptive, advices, maybe some platitudes? I’m not sure if this can go on forever. Maybe? If academia is to be taken at face value, perhaps there’s always something more to say about art and how it’s made.
I’m thinking ahead to 2018, what I want to accomplish, and, to my own chagrin, no small amount of fretting over what seems an ever-diminishing supply of time to do, well, anything.
I do find it interesting that you could always make this argument at any point in your life. It seems impossibly short when we look at it in the context of history.
I suppose the platitude here is to note that the time we have left is the time we have left. A tautology to mean it’s just as valid to consider there’s time enough to do some things, and that’s all anyone ever has. A pile slightly bigger for Stephen King doesn’t mean our own small pile is any more (or less!) pointless in the grand scheme of a vast universe.
We make sense of existence through our art, and thus meaning, and most of us find that more fulfilling and worthwhile than not making it.
If this all seems like the climax of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy original radio series—and its adapted scene in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe—with the eternally skeptical Ruler of the Universe, doubting not only his own existence but that of everyone else and their actions, I feel you. Optimism comes and goes, like pessimism, and motivation, and indolence.
We merely know it pleases us to make these things, and if it does, we should keep making our efforts. And do more tomorrow.
- For those without Spotify, here’s a YouTube playlist of the album