Monday, 10 August 2015

The Things that Keep Me Going

Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the comforting knowledge that we are only hairless apes crawling on the surface of a ball of rock spinning around a nondescript star on an outer spiral arm of one of thousands of millions of galaxies, and that said star will burn this planet to a cinder in a thousand million years;

That one day long ago armoured jawless fishes swam where I am breathing living metabolising now, and they too, thought their world was all-important; and then they were supplanted by jawed fishes, and that sea dried, and giant lizards walked the land, and, after them, monster birds and apes;

 – so none of this really matters, because all this will be gone –

That the bad electrochemical impulses in my brain telling me that the happiest day of my life will be the one that puts an end to it can only win in the short term; that, when all’s said and done, I am just a mass of chemicals that will return to the universe from which I came, starstuff that will return to the stars;

That I am not even a droplet in the river of time, that my life and death are as meaningful as the life and death of a bacterium in the gut of a termite in the African savannah;

That in a hundred years my life will have as much meaning, or as little, as that of a Turkish soldier killed at Gallipoli or a deer shot by a hunter behind the Western Front;

That there is really nothing new under the sun, and that nothing I am going through will have been unknown to someone else, suffering in exactly the same way, somewhere, somewhen;

That life is, after all, a self-curing disease, and that it will end somewhere, at some point of time, and this is something to be grateful for, because immortality is the worst of all punishments;

And that I am, in the scheme of things, less than a dot, and what I hold important, less than nothing at all.

And the kiss of a dog on my face in the morning
The touch of wet beach-sand on the soles of my feet
Motorcycle rumble between my thighs,
The colours of an evening
The laughter of a friend

These are the things that keep me going.

And each day is another day,
Each breath a new breath.
And my life and death 

The things that make me cry
Mean nothing at all
And in a thousand years
Will mean as much as the dust of yesterday.

These are the things that keep me going


Copyright B Purkayastha 2015 

[Image Source]


  1. While I pause to try to come up with something to say, I will say that I am glad that there are things that keep you going, especially things you enjoy and bring you peace.

  2. People can probably be divided into three groups:

    1. People that know what you just said is true and are happy about it;
    2. People who know what you just said is true and are depressed about it; and
    3. People who never in a million years could think of the world in those terms.

  3. Goddamn, I love this. Life is exactly as large and as small as all that.

  4. Hairless? Speak for yourself!

  5. One of the few people hairier than I am would be Esau, unfortunately.

  6. Bill,
    Good list of things that can keep a person going. I have one to add, looking forward to your next story, fiction or political commentary, either or both, oh and the next installment of the continuing saga of Raghead of course. Yeah, I am hooked on your writings old friend.
    One more thing that keeps me going, silly cats. Also, doing what little I can to keep fighting against the war mongers and their masters who reap obscene profits from the never ending damn fool wars.


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