Mar 252010

I know, I know … it goes against the received wisdom. We’re supposed to revel and rejoice in the rebirth around us, cautiously emerging from the dark, cold days of Winter, blinkingly staring into a new year’s sun. But it’s precisely that cyclical aspect of it which drags my mood down to the depths, without fail, each and every year. Like Sisyphus, ceaselessly rolling the boulder up the hill to no avail, we trudge on year after year. Whatever promise the onset of Spring and then Summer claim to offer us, the only thing that is really being offered is the arrival of another Winter and then … again … another falsely optimistic Spring. Eternity without the possibility of parole.

This ties into my issues with mortality and religion/spirituality/bullshit. I don’t believe in the soul. And my rock solid certainty in the facts of physics means that I can’t believe in the soul. But more than this, I know that essentially the two options for the universe are contracting back into a point of singularity where time and space cease to exist, rendering the notion of “after” the end of the universe meaningless and nonsensical, or continually expanding forever, long past its heat death, where matter is undifferentiated and energy nonexistent, an eternity of beige.

What has all that got to do with Spring? Well, in my head, everything. Every year it brings back to me the essential pointlessness of it all, and makes it harder and harder for me to strive towards anything knowing that ultimately, however ultimate that point may be, it will result in nothing. The tallest monument, the finest portrait, the most beautiful heart-rending symphony … all of it is meaningless.