When you meet someone, and the day inches towards its end, and there is some beverage and a bit of food on the table, and when you talk about life, they often tell you how it always gets difficult. That there is a continual increase in this difficulty of living. I have gotten as old as I have believing this, but now, I feel this is not entirely true, for there is no upward slope but a plateau.
People confuse the presence of things for their increase, or at least, that is what people expect. The human hope has an Achilles’ heel; it sees a climb when there is only a flat surface to lie down on and get some rest. At some point, when you are fully privy and completely exposed to the battle of existence, the pain of happenstance, the betrayal of time, and the tragedies of modernity, the climb is over. There is no ever-increasing difficulty. The difficulty of life ceases to increase; it only persists. The horror does not end, but neither does it increase; it only shifts forms, like a wraith bent on haunting you forever.
You are a child, and then one day, you are not, and from that point on, the hike begins. But then, the vision is skewed, for you have trekked so long amidst the sinuous gradients that you cannot see too well. That is what exhaustion does to you: it changes what you see. The brain must make sense of it all somehow, so it expects the climb to go on and on. Where there are flat grounds, we see a mountain, and the peak seems engulfed in clouds, so we forget to lie down in the grass. If you ever stop this climb of yours, and if you ever sit down on the grass, it will occur to you how flat the ground beneath you is, but no one ever stops.
People jump into pools of sand in search of water in a desert, and in the same way, people think life is a steep climb. But there is no climb after a while. There is but a fairly flat piece of land where difficulty grows, and so does grace, and all of it remains ever-present. The fields are burgeoning with all sorts of things, but you must stop walking for a little bit. It is only when we look at things differently, that they start to appear different. You must shake your head and lie down. You have climbed enough.