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The Beauty of Destruction
There is a certain poetry to the end of the world, isn't there?
It is the dowsing of a tiny spark amidst the stars. It is the dispersal of dust in the wind. It is the cough that clears the body of sickness. It is a small spasm in the space of time, unremarked upon by any except for those destroyed.
There is a certain beauty in this destruction. What could be more poetic than the utter destruction of something so vast and yet so miniscule at the same time? To the people who live there, the world seems like such an essential thing. It is the basis of all things.
To the universe, however, it is nothing more than a blip on the radar, a microscopic grain in the infinite seas of creation. Even with its destruction looming so near in the future, the earth's existence still goes unnoticed.
Could anything other than the earth be so insubstantial and yet so significant? From your eyes, the earth seems like the sum of existence. To the universe, however, the earth is nothing. How could something be so contradictory?
The earth is to the universe like a single ant is to the earth. In fact, the ant may play a more important role to the earth than the earth does to the universe. After all, the earth is at least finite, while the universe is not. The size of the ant is at least measurable against the size of the earth. Is the earth even detectible within an infinite universe?
Still, maybe everything is significant in one way or another. Everything comes down to perspective. Everything is as significant as it appears to you. Everything has as much substance as you give it. Everything is relative.
The actions of one ant does not have an effect on the world as a whole, but it can still have an effect on something, no matter how minor. In the same way, the actions of a human do not have an affect on the universe. Still, a person could say a word and save a person's life.
An action might not have an effect on the universe as a whole, but it could affect someone. Maybe that is enough. All of existence may lack true significance, but maybe we must find our own significance. There can be existence without substance.
I stand on the surface of the earth as I ponder these thoughts. The sun is red, unnaturally bright. It is too near. It has been too near for a long time now. Years. The earth is dry. The harsh sun scorches the earth with fiery rays and dries up every bit of water. The ground is left parched and colorless.
The earth will soon be swallowed by the sun. As time passed, the sun got larger, hotter, nearer. Today is the day that the earth will finally be incinerated. 'From dust to dust,' as the line goes. Today is the end.
By now, there really is not much left to end. The majority of life is already gone. It has been dying slowly for some time. All that remains are the few tough, hard plants and animals that have managed to adapt to the devastating environment.
There are no humans left. In a way, that is a good thing. If a human were to stand on the earth's surface, they would quickly burn. They disappeared before the sun was near enough to have even the slightest effect, however. They have been gone for a long time. Thousands of years, hundreds of thousands, millions, I do not know.
Time has never been important to me. Why does it matter when death occurs? What is the difference between death then, death now, death later? Either way, it is death eventually. Really, death is much more tangible than life. Life is crippled by time, while death is an endless, unbreakable loop. Why would I choose to lock myself in time? I am not enough of a part of this reality for time to be necessary for me. Even in this reality, though, time seems unnecessary. Everything is much too infinite to be condensed into time.
Regardless of this, humans have been gone for a long time. They disappeared like the fragile creatures that they were, killing themselves off through a combination of overpopulation, starvation, illness, and war. Do not pity them, however. They are still far in your future. It had to happen eventually. All races are doomed to end one day. Life is a temporary condition, after all.
It is not surprising that humans are gone by now. They believed that they knew everything, but they were naïve. They understood nothing about the fundamental principles of the universe. They knew the basic science. They knew that the earth was not the center of the universe. Still, they found it difficult to accept this fact on a metaphysical level. They could not accept that they were not everything. They believed that they were the only thing of importance in the universe.
Humans never believed that the human race could end. Instead, they believed that if the human race were to end, the universe would cease to exist. How could the universe continue on without their existence? In reality, after the humans died out, the earth continued functioning just fine without them. Now, even the earth is coming to the end, and the universe is not even stuttering. The missing piece will quickly be filled by empty space.
Despite the insignificance, here and now is the end of the earth. I am watching the sun approach me. No one is aware of the existence of this small, unimportant planet off in the corner of the galaxy. When it is destroyed, there will be no one alive to notice. The only creatures who will notice will be destroyed with the planet.
I am the solitary witness to this forsaken event. When the world disappears, I am the only one that will remain. I do not want the earth to be forgotten. If no one remembers it, would it have ever existed? I stay here to watch because someone has to remember. While it is true that the earth is unimportant, I still feel a certain connection with it.
Perhaps that connection is actually because of its insignificance. Regardless, this planet does not deserve to be completely forgotten. I will remember it. I will remain standing on its illusory surface as the sky burns, and the life fades. I cannot be destroyed. I cannot die.
Do you wonder what I am? I wish I could tell you, but that is an inquiry that cannot be answered in full. I can only give you vague images in the hope that they will convey a bit of my existence. That is, assuming I can truly be said to exist. You see, I am impossible to define. I am not a ghost because I do not have enough substance. I am not a spirit because I do not have a soul. I am not immortal because I do not live to die.
What am I then? I am a figment. I am the beginning and the end. I am without body, without form, without color. I am a bit of air, a grain of stardust, a drop of rain. I am a broken watch, an empty journal, a silent scream. I am laughter and tears and choking breath. I am a whistle without a tune and the sound of shattering glass. I am the blood frozen within your veins and the beating of your heart. I am the beauty and the monsters that regularly haunt you dreams.
As for you, you are what haunts my dreams. I watch you like a movie playing rapidly on a screen. You are the past, and I am the future. Your voice is a recording, your actions pre-planned. My eyes hover over you from my vantage point far ahead in the mystery of time. I stand at the end of the earth and see you through its history. You are built into the earth's core. Your life leaves imprints. As you live now, I am watching you. I know what you have done. I know what you will do.
I am sorry that I cannot share that with you, but some things you are not meant to know. I am also sorry that you cannot watch me, but I do not exist to be watched. You must be content with the simple fact that I am watching you now.
Soon, I won't be able to see you. These marks that you made, the marks that you will make, will all be destroyed with the rest of the world. That time is coming closer now. Within minutes, the last of your impressions on the earth will vanish.
I am waiting now.
The sun is getting nearer. I can feel the heat increasing. The light is so close. It blocks all else from my vision.
Fire convenes around me as the world is swallowed by flame. There is so much heat and so much light. There is no color, there is no sound. I cannot feel pain, but I can sense it. The world burns. I live. I feel. Everything dies. I am the last.
You are gone. I cannot see you anymore. You have disappeared from my vision along with the earth.
The world is gone, and I am floating here amid the stars. There is nowhere for me to go now. That is all right, though, I do not need a place to go. I will disappear into the cosmos. I have finally seen the end. I will not forget.