Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nothing Gold Can Stay

We read Of Mice and Men and some poetry by Frost, which of course got me thinking about, "Nothing gold can stay," a line that moved both writers to discuss the frailty of life and the brief flicker that is our lives.

In addition to all of that, I saw a movie trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, which gets me meloncholoy and so, well, I hate February.

I know, a lot of people hate this time of year. For one, it is wicked cold. The bitter chill and frequent clouds leads to vitamin D deficiency, depression...winter blues. For two, you have VD. The big deal, the holiday wrapped in hearts and flowers that more often than not is brutal rather than loving. Expectations are high, reality is a bitch, and the holiday is rooted in a martyr.

How do you get to be a martyr?
Oh, yeah. YOU DIE.

So, that said, I realize that this holiday is hard for many, but for me, it is a time to remember when my friend died. The anniversary of our first date was Valentines day, he died on February eighth.

Like the furry creatures in Of Mice and Men, like the green of the leaves shifting to gold, and Pony Boy in Frost and Hinton's books, like the cancerfilled characters of Fault... Nothing gold can stay.

Which is why, at this time of year? I try to remember to cherish everything. No tomorrow is promised. The only thing that is promised fits far closer to something out of Fault.

“I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

We're just like the stars, really. We burn our set amount of time. Some of us burn bright, beacons against the darkness. Some of us have a gravity that draws others in and burns them up to brighten our own glow. Eventually, though, whether we burned bright or barely flickered, we all implode, destroying everything around us. For me? I want to be like the girl in Fault. I want to minimize how many I hurt when I go, but I don't want to be forgotten, not really, either.

"There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

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