Meaning of Life Symposium

Meaning of Life Symposium

One of my closest friends had a birthday this week. He used it as an opportunity to conduct a Meaning of Life Symposium. The question: "What is the meaning of life?"


I took a walk outside today. The breeze was fresh, the sun bright. My mind wandered, my soul breathed. Birds chirped, leaves rustled. Light covered every angle, sunlight pierced every tree.

The Japanese have a word for that: komorebi. It's rather remarkable that despite lacking a word to express it, we can all imagine the dappled appearance of sunlight as it filters through the trees.

I looked around, consumed by beauty. Where did it come from? Why am I here? What is the meaning of it all? Questions asked. Questions unanswered. Always.

The beauty of life lies in its mystery. In the questions unanswered, or, rather, the questions without answers. Like this one. Beauty and meaning, mystery and unknowns. Always there, yet always fleeting.

Perhaps the meaning of life and love and this journey through time is to simply experience it. It's in the komorebi. It's in the warmth of your partner's touch. It's in the feeling of fear and the turning of your stomach. It's in the laugh of your child and the innocence of their eyes. It's in the purity of your breath on a crisp autumn morning. It's in standing hand-in-hand with the person you love onboard this giant rock hurling through space. Beauty is everywhere, and meaning too. All it asks is that you remain present, observant and a little bit naïve.

But for every blade of beauty, there is cruelty to match. Life will whip you and lash you and leave you feeling broken. It'll take everything you've got, and come back for more. It'll kick you when you're down and spit on you to boot.

But when you see this happening, know that you're in luck. When life comes-a-knocking, open the door with a smile and the finger that says 'fuck'. Battle against life and refuse to conform. Fight through the strife and reject the norm. Because as long as you refuse to die inside, meaning will appear from far and wide. Meaning that is yours, yours to keep. Through your bones, let that meaning seep.

One day I'll go on my final walk. I'll ask my final question and whisper my final word. I'll take my final breath and recall the walk I took outside today. The breeze was fresh, the sun bright. My mind wandered, my soul breathed. Birds chirped, leaves rustled. Light covered every angle, sunlight pierced every tree. Meaning was there, alongside me.

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