What I do feel, and have since I was a teenager, and as many teenagers feel I expect, is the drive for vengeance or better, moral reparation. One imagines that one has sudden omnipotence, demi-god like power, superhuman ability and one intervenes, prevents injustice or restores justice. Actual human life does not allow for this fiction, our factual, real justice, is less divine, less awesome, less powerful. We are, after all, mere creatures, with limited capacities, our best and worst ability to dream. Light and darkness, this is the metaphor, the stark polarity, the grey what we live. Most walk the line between the poles, a fragile few reach either end.
Moral precepts hang upon this line, the categorical imperative, the consequentialist mitigation, clothes to guide, but beneath it all we are naked. We are too much of a composite to be a single persona, the face we have must serve for all. Acceptance of such limitation is not very helpful, just closer to truthfulness.
Death is so present, it makes life worth living. Ignorance is not simple bliss, knowledge is not untainted power but ignorance is a power and a knowledge of things can be blissful. If you play with the common sayings, platitudes, oaths, homilies, parables, holy incantations even, you can find the yin and the yang in everything. This is well known, often said, but it doesn’t often help.
When the death or damage to our loved ones is upon us, the sea, we swim in, is purple with pain, manganese or peacock blue, crimson, Indian red, lemon, ochre, as yellow as old bruises, whatever you like. But each colour, each particular and unique combination, keeps us above the surface, only some of the time. I don’t mean to be too over-elaborate with the metaphor but that place, the wide open emptiness of mourning, has many shades that colour feeling. As BC and AD split time, some deaths render our life into two epochs, we cannot go back, except in fable, in the fabulated creation, the rendered image, with the iconic photo or the digital distillation. Memory makes us who we are, the senses place us in the present, stories embrace and create what little future we have.
Nothing is indelible except love. Hate, discord, pain, malevolence, spite, injustice, horror, fear, the intense rag-bag army fall away, if not into oblivion then abeyance, but love is not forgotten. Love conquers all, this is not a platitude but a reality, because love is meaning. Without love we are nothing, without such a human creation, there is no meaning. That meaning is here now. Past-present-future are bound by love, endue because we have and can love.
My parents are dead, in a generation or two, gone from all memory, but they have lived with and without me, they have borne sons and daughters, they have loved, they created, they were, are and will be my meaning. If anything meaningful is, they are, if anything meaningful was, I am.