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Category: Religion and Philosophy

The Meaning of 'Red Letter Day', And the Primal Terror of "This Too Shall Pass"

you know how people say "this too shall pass"?

that phrase has always been existentially terrifying to me. it evokes a sense that any suffering i experience in the present moment is objectively meaningless as within a matter of a few hours i may be in a different mood, a different person, and perhaps never even remember that pain. it is about that existential terror. the dread of the "grand scheme of things" in a meaningless world.

in an environment in which the only thing that exists is a single, completely pointless "grand scheme of things" which will never help anyone, not even yourself, what is the meaning of your momentary suffering? in the moment itself, it is everything, but you know intuitively that soon it will be nothing.

and when it has become a memory, it becomes nothing more. you can recount your thoughts, but never relive that same feeling. you will never remember it. thus, in the end you suffered for nothing.

that feeling is what i wanted to capture; just a very specific iteration of it.

but you see, while the story was about it truly turning out to be meaningless, it has another function. by capturing it through the story, i can relive and understand what i felt in that moment even when i am happy. and i do so frequently because even though it is upsetting, i want to be to my past self from that moment what the future self in the story was to the narrator.

even if i can't directly communicate it, it creates a connection between two versions of myself in two real points of time. it allows me to share the burden. to ease the pain, if only a little.

to me, the story means that whenever i feel that way next, i know the feeling has been stored and will be relived. i imbued it with meaning by turning it to art. so no longer is it so terrifying.

im not alone anymore.

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