Do you ever freak yourself out thinking about how this world ends? I want so desperately to know that it makes my stomach burn and I feel panicky. I limit the time I allow myself to think about it.
It seems so unfair that we won’t ever know how our story ends. We live a single chapter, with no context and no conclusion. How can we make sense of it?
An eternity behind us, an eternity before us. Both murky, vast and mostly illegible.
We will not survive the next hundred years. We will not survive the next 90 years (maybe 60 more if I’m lucky). Soon enough it will be over for us (though perhaps by then I will be tired and weary and ready to leave, because I’ve had my fill of this earth and I’m truly contented with what I’ve had).
But still, Earth will dutifully keep on its trajectory. Spinning and orbiting. There will be days and nights and days and nights. More time and still more time. Generations upon generations upon generations. A thousand fold. A million fold. (Our world, our existence of zero consequence, barely traceable).
Buildings torn down, rebuilt, torn down, rebuilt. Whole cities transformed. The very ground beneath you, unrecognisable.
Then what? Overpopulation. Bodies piled, packed, swarming across every continent. No open spaces left, we compete. Mass poverty. Pollution. Consume consume consume. A frenzied, panicked subsistence. Anger, violence, weapons. Grime and war and hate, mere survival. Acidic air and a bitter existence.
Perhaps nuclear warfare. Tomorrow. We blow ourselves off the very face of the planet. The impact such that the entire earth spins off its axis at such a great rate we are gone in an instant. It wouldn’t surprise me, to be honest. The decision of a handful of power-hungry people. Good work humans.
Have you read On The Beach?
Or we run out of water. We take and take until a generation ends up with nothing but dust.
Or perhaps not.
Perhaps: sustainability. Lush and green, clean and modest. Stained in equality, acceptance, prosperity. Strength. Technology that unites. Mother nature our ultimate ally. We share, we show restraint.
And then what? A meteorite? Hell, why not an entire shower of meteorites. Sparkling gracefully onto the earth. They land with great force, ripping through the earth. Perhaps we are forewarned and we gather with our loved ones on the beach, on the top of mountains, to watch the beauty of our own demise.
The sun? It burns out. Very gradually temperatures increase. Over years, decades even. Nothing we can do to stop it. Or a fiery inferno in a single second? Everything we’ve ever known vaporised into space powder in an instant. So fast, we don’t even realise what’s happened.
And now, I have hit my daily quota on “thinking on such things” and must stop. Though I do want so desperately to know how this all ends.
n. sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out, that you’ll dutifully pass on the joke of being alive without ever learning the punchline.