Saturday, December 22, 2012
Through the Last Synaptic Assignment
The end of times comes easy to our imaginations. Doomsday is ascribed to political discourse, relationship strife, petty incidents of inconvenience. Just the other day I accidentally dropped a hot dog on the floor of my kitchen and it was not a pretty scene. A rare hissy fit in the face of stress built from the day. The fiscal cliff fades to a joke as my rushed dinner rolls around in the mud I tracked in from the cold, December rain.
Here I am, December 22nd, 2012, writing. The end of the world did not happen. We may all be subtly both relieved and disappointed. Apocalypse is a cultural fantasy. It amounts to a wiping out of debts financial, emotional. All baggage blazed to ash. Start afresh in a new dimension. Though the prophecies were not taken seriously at large, I think most, if not all, of us can admit to thinking about the what ifs at least for a flash. I recently read 2012: The Return of Quetzlcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck as a pseudo reflection. The book explores the origins of the prophecy through myth and various interpretations by thinkers on the fringe. My take away is: I hope this date does transition us into a new Golden Age where creativity, rationality, and good will can merge into a way of life that is invigorating, refreshing across a wide spectrum of social class, seeping into behavior and policy organically through a cultural shift in value. We’re all hungry for something better suited to all of us, and frustrated, because we still cling to old perspectives on how to solve problems, even problems posed by new technology that may not apply to old frameworks. A greater change may come our way when we all lay exhausted from ideological battle, and our interactions slip to the slap happy, and we decide we like it there better.
The evening of December 20th I joined a friend at his holiday party. Enjoying beer in the 11 o’clock hour I found that time had slowed. I had checked my phone at 11:01pm. When I felt like it had to be getting well past midnight and I should be getting on home, I found that it was only 11:17pm. When I then felt as though, shit, it must be passed 1am, it was 11:40pm. I wondered, hey, maybe this is it, the final hour, rolling time into a slowed tube of perspective, my last synaptic assignment of consciousness?
The next morning I awoke, December 21st, my commute was quiet, strangely so. Ah, a travel day for most with Christmas around the corner, easily explained away, though it had a flavor similar to the opening of The Walking Dead. I got out of work early, went home, read in my lazy boy until I felt sleepy. But it was an odd type of sleepy, and almost felt as though consciousness itself was just draining away from my cells. I once had a dream about the end of the world, where the universe technically expanded so far that it snapped apart, but instead of it being a violent experience, it was quite peaceful. Vision, sound, touch, all senses just faded as though the body was a biological movie projector reaching the end of a reel, no longer conducting the electromagnetic wavelength of experience. And it was actually beautiful. As I sat in my chair, feeling this ooze of sleepy, I thought on this old dream, and again wondered, is this how we go?
I awoke from a quick nap maybe 15 minutes later, though it felt much longer. Groggy, I got up and wandered around my apartment. It was dark out, the neighborhood still, my girlfriend not home from work yet. It had that feeling at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey where Dave existed as an old man in that white lit home. What was that feeling; mystery, relaxation and loneliness melted into one new sensation?
I picked up my phone to text her to see when she’d be home, but in looking at my recent text history I couldn’t find her name at first. And I briefly wondered if I awoke into a new dimension, and she had gone to another.
She arrived home 10 minutes later and my life went back to normal. The slow oozing of time squished back into the fast flow we’ve all grown used to. But the reprieve from being too tightly conscious of time as fixed rhythm, as I sensed in that hour at the bar, in the cat nap on my chair, is a taste of what we all may need to recharge our batteries, and help us recover from those moments where we feel so rushed from modern life we drop our hot dog on the floor and it rips doom into our tempers.