August 11, 2019

Two paragraphs from the work-in-progress Solar Kittens


If humanity survives, which is unlikely, people will want to know what it was like. This feeling that the end was no longer happening in some distant future but was basically happening now. The conversations quoting scientists who had warned us before it was too late but had not known how to summon enough political will for enough people to act, for a large enough number of people to heed their far too prescient warnings. The conversations in which we tried to reassure each other in the knowledge that despair or hopelessness would solve nothing and were in fact the emotions – understandable as they might be – that were the exact opposite of what was required. They will want to know what it was like, in search for insights as to why we didn’t do more to save them, to save ourselves. We will want to know what it was like.

I am sitting here staring out the window on a calm Sunday evening. At the moment it is like nothing. It is like every other unmemorable Sunday evening I am able to recall. This week has been unseasonably cool, a relief, a break from the heat of the previous weeks. I am living without internet at home because I am too addicted to the internet and, if I had it, I would be staring at it now, completely mesmerized by the screen, instead of writing these words. I of course wonder if there’s any point in writing these words. Historically, literature was built by writers who each had at least some feeling there was a chance their writing might live on, that someone might continue to read them far into the future. Statistically the odds for this were not good, and therefore literature has also been built, layer by layer, upon misguided fantasies of posterity. But sitting here with no internet, staring mindlessly out the window, it is extremely difficult for me to imagine any distant future in which someone might be reading these words. Yet imagine it I do. Because I’m a writer and therefore can’t help myself. And when I imagine it, I also can’t help but feel their hunger, their longing to know just what it is like – right here, right now – and I search desperately, both within myself and directly out the window at the quiet street in front of me, searching for something to tell them.


No comments: