Survival is a vague and interesting concept that can’t always be easily defined. But the one thing most of us can agree on is that survival in and of itself is not usually enough.

Survival has a base, hollow core to it. It’s the act of existing without any substance to the continuation of your being. One can only suppose that surviving is a means to some other end. That the empty act of survival might someday lead to something of a greater substance.

It’s what they call hope sometimes when they (whoever they are) wax sentimental. Hope. That strange and impulsive instinct that seems to guide most all living things. The concept that it can get better if we can only outlast the current bad. Hope is one of people’s strongest assets and one of life’s greatest evils.

Big Small World

What are the limits? Good demons flaunt their inappropriate t-shirts with a chuckle and a tickle. This question is always on my mind in one form or another. Be it the limits of personal endurance or the population as a whole Sometimes it’s just a passing ponderance of how we’ve arrived at this point. Others it’s more harsh and cynical. More focused on careless choices.

There are no limits. That’s what I’ve come to know. This can be good. Or it can be bad. That’s up to you and your perspective. It can be a freedom knell or it can be a prison. Again. Up to you.

The weird thing about being human is that we create reality. It sounds crazy, but essentially it’s true. We can choose. To be corporate drones. To be moguls. To be terrorists. To be rescue workers. We decide.

And the world we live in is a bizarre collective perception constructed by all of us. A mad conglomeration of all our opinoins. Some more than others. But we are all a part of it. We are, each of us responsible for making the Kardashians famous. And for the the cancellation of Firefly. We make the beautiful and the ugly as well. It’s all us. We are the ladybugs and we are the mosquitos. Peace and war. Liberty and oppression. All these tiny worlds are of our own creation. And as microscopic as they are, still they consume us.

Mere Survival

Someone I used to know got me to thinking about the wilderness and this whole trend toward subsistance living. There are some shows about it on Discovery and NatGeo. People in Alaska and the Arctic Circle living almost entirely off the bounty of the land. They’ve pretty much shunned our modern world and instead have chosen to live a simpler life.

On the one hand I totally get it. Mass production of meat and food is vile, unclean and morally offensive. They raise their own animals and hunt their meat in the wild. It must be impossible to get a nice salad.

On the other hand it’s so darn cold and remote. You’re not just a hunter. You’re just as much the hunted as well. There are very large predators up there. There must be a certain humility to thinking of oneself as the prey. It’s an interesting perspective for a species all too accustomed to being on the top of the food cahin. But the internet up there probably isn’t so great. I guess they’re too busy surviving to really notice.

Not that we’re not very busy surviving down here in the regular world. Everyone is always surviving. Seldom actually living. I always thought the one good thing about being human was we had the luxury of more than mere survival. Turns out, not so much. Life is tough in these United States. It’s a wonder any of us survive at all.