I need to care about the universe because otherwise, everything loses meaning.
I need to care about my particular human experience, every breath and moment and feeling. I need to care about every heart I touch, every emotion I pass onto another being.
I need to believe in the divinity of cosmos because to not believe in that divinity is to lose myself to utter nihilism.
In a divine cosmos, every heartbeat matters. In a divine cosmos, every movement I make in this world is a step in a beautiful dance, a tiny but beautiful detail in an artwork of inconceivable magnitude.
For you, maybe divinity is not a filter you need or find useful. It may seem like a wishy-washy concept, an unnecessary distraction from the reality of the world we live in, the magnificence and the devastation of it. But for me, the filter of divinity is the only thing that separates me from the greatest fear of all: the fear of meaninglessness, pointlessness, futility. The fear that nothing I do will ever feel like enough, because nothing I or any human could ever do will ever really matter in the greater scheme of things.
When I paint the cosmos as divine, then every second matters. When I paint the cosmos as divine, everything I feel, and every feeling I pass along, becomes a beautiful fragment, a mimesis of something greater of infinite meaning. When I paint the cosmos as divine, I am simply imbuing with meaning this mysterious process of existence that we will never understand, and in which we play a bewilderingly tiny role.
When I struggle, I turn to gratitude. I turn to awe. I look at even the most mundane or difficult or fleeting experiences of my life and think: this is a gift. And this. And this.
Every second of every day, I am this alive.
When experience becomes a gift, a window onto something bigger and imbued with incomprehensible meaning, then things can matter again.
This struggle is not new. It is not new to me; and I doubt it’s new to you, either. This existential battle is what we call the human experience. But this seems to be a lesson that needs to be learned over, and over, and over again. The spiral of nihilistic despair is always waiting, if you let yourself go there.
And so: I look for more faith. I try to release the fear of not finding or doing the right things in life—because at the end of the day, it’s not the things that will matter, it’s the doing of them. It’s not the legacy we leave behind (because no legacy is immortal), it’s the beauty we feel and inspire in the moment. And I remember that big and great things often come in small packages.
My life has so often been touched and changed by a paragraph, a thought, a sentence. I can never tell when something I put into the world might create such a moment for another person. The important thing is to keep reaching, keep sharing, keep loving, keep experiencing, keep dancing that dance of life.