The Nightmare of Knowing

To an old soul such as myself, two things in this world are cherished more than anything: intrigue and optimism. These two things are prone to waning over time. Intrigue has an ebb and flow to it. Highly dependent upon what the passion of the day, or week, or month is. Optimism tends to fade slowly over time. When it fades away, it can be momentarily resuscitated by new interests, but inevitably it trends downward.

I’ve always enjoyed reading novels by Jules Verne. They take me on a mental journey back in time to when the world still had intrigue. Around the World in Eighty Days, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Five Weeks in a Balloon. Iconic novels that have withstood the test of time. They hail from an era in which modes of transport were still being created. Entire continents had not yet been explored. Let’s compare that to the present day: a world where it seems that the answer to any question we can think of is at our fingertips. Not just at home, but anywhere cellular service or WiFi is available. I may be cynical, but where is the adventure in knowing the answers to so many of life’s questions already? These Verne novels are my current muse. In a way, it is a self-destructive interest of mine: for as much as reading these novels gets my intrigue rebooted, they also get me to ruminate on how much has been already learned. How little there is still to learn.

Optimism is another important and beloved feeling. During one’s childhood, the whole world seems to be ripe for learning and experiencing. Over the course of time I have been beaten down by society to the point of implosion. I once saw opportunity to learn, to experience life at every turn. Today, cynicism is the way of the world. I grab hold of the rare times where I have nothing scheduled. I write during these free times to expose the wounds that are adult life in the modern day. Writing has temporarily resuscitated my optimism towards life, but it isn’t the perfect form of escapism. It can be a painful exercise in self examination, after all. I recognize that these feelings may wane once again, but must hold on as long as possible to expose the good, the bad, and the ugly for the whole world to see.

I perceive living in this modern day as a bit of a nightmare. While the conveniences that life has to offer are plentiful in comparison to decades past, the immediacy of everything we say or do can have its downsides. I confess that I long for a simpler day where the world was filled with intrigue and optimism. I recognize the irony of typing this post online for the world to see, but regardless of how I feel as an old soul about today I may as well try to embrace the avenues available to me.


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