Hope? Ha Ha Ha Ha...
In her early 80s, Abigail Thomas has her doubts about the future of humanity and life after death.
“There is still hope for humanity,” somebody said this morning on NPR. Talk about the opiate of the people. As far as I am concerned, hope is simply the precursor to hopes dashed. And whatever “hope is the thing with feathers” means has always eluded me (although it does imply fragility). Here’s what I like: acceptance.
I don’t mean accepting the rotten state of things without a fight, or in my case, a lot of swearing, but I’d rather be able to endure whatever comes my way than sit around hoping for the best. God forbid I should hear the next Supreme Court decision. I can’t imagine how the human race will survive. Or even if it should. Look what we’ve done to the planet. Look what we’re still doing. Look what we do to each other!
Here’s what I like: acceptance.
I’ll be dead before worse comes to worst, but I have four kids, twelve grandchildren, one great grandchild, two sisters, a niece and a nephew. That’s a lot of family who will have to face what is coming. Live somewhere it rains, I say over and over. They are decent people. I trust their strength. Worry is pointless, although I do worry.
Death is the natural order of things. It isn’t death that scares me. My problem with dying is the possibility of an afterlife. What if we have to come back? I wouldn’t mind coming back as kudzu and turn everything green again. Corn might be fun. My friend Dawn would like to return as rain.
But what if it’s a choice simply between human again or ghost? One human life has been enough for me. Nor do I care to be an invisible presence like the one in my house who is always opening and closing doors in the middle of the night. That’s not an activity with much future. But I think we are nearing the end of our future. Earth is getting ready to shrug us off.
It isn’t death that scares me. My problem with dying is the possibility of an afterlife. What if we have to come back? I wouldn’t mind coming back as kudzu and turn everything green again. Corn might be fun.
Any afterlife for those of us remaining, may have to consist of coming back to the past. How far back? Wooly mammoth days? When did we start? I looked us up. Cro-Magnons. They were us a hundred thousand years ago. Not long when you consider ants have been around for one hundred and thirty million years.
Maybe we will get a do-over. In that case, I might agree to return as a Cro-Magnon. I could paint in caves, make things out of clay, see Woolly Mammoths with my own two eyes. I’m going to try to make one, although not sure about the wooly part. Gray? Terra cotta? White?
My god, those tusks. I’m unable to do them justice. Have to think of something else.
If enough souls chose returning as Cro-Magnons, maybe we could avoid the greedy mistakes made by our kind. I have to think a little harder about this. But do not confuse “maybe” with hope. My life has been interesting and full, but once I’m dead, without some guarantee that I will return a hundred thousand years ago as a Cro-Magnon, I want to stay dead.
Unless it’s kudzu. Or corn.
What about you?
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