A friend told me something the other day that got the cogs in my head working overtime.
He said, “We are here for no greater purpose than to eat, fuck and procreate. In this grand, big universe we are nothing. We are dust.”
His words seeped in slow, stirring up thoughts like fingers caressing leaves as they go.
I mulled over the first sip of his words and rolled the meaning around. For some reason, it didn’t feel true to me. A little like when you see a reflection of yourself in a mirror, but the reflection is off in some slight, barely noticeable way. I believe his words to be untrue. But then again the operating word here is ‘believe’. I believe we have a purpose, and that even though our form isn’t constant, we are a constant contributor to the universe in one way or another.
But, let’s say for the sake of a rich, fluid discussion that what he said is true. That there is no larger meaning for our existence in the universe. This theory assumes that meaning holds a gigantic footprint, that it can be found only in cosmic proportions. This theory rises upon a foundation that believes meaning can’t exist in a world of dust because of its inherent nature. But the thing is, dust has meaning too. Dust makes up stars and asteroids and planets and all things in between.
We are dust. And in between our ‘job’ of eating, fucking and procreating, we find ways to create art, we find ways to touch each other, we find ways to face immovable defeat with a fluid strength, we find ways to mould our children into more than just our evolutionary legacies, we create meaning from dust, and perhaps meaning is just that: the distance between you and me and how we touch each other’s lives.
This meaning comes in small but sure instalments, not a supernova moment of galactic realisation where the entire universe bends in a space-time continuum towards us. No, we are a part of a small part of a whole and within that part we create meaning out of our existence, even if it is layers and layers of minuscule, fine particles. If we are dust, what spectacular dust we are! Perhaps that is all the purpose we need. For the time that we play, and live, we reach out in a way that means something to someone.