02 February 2010

January blues

Now that we are into February, I have been paid, and the snow is entirely gone, I can say goodbye to my cold induced depression. Not without some bittersweet feelings: being depressed in January seems very natural. I found myself working more feverishly and creatively. I enjoyed some simple erratic behaviour getting up in the middle of the night to work. I have to say, though, I didn't really feel it as much this year: the weight of judgement and fear of death. My existential crises have been mellowing as I seem to have come to grips with death for the time being.

One of my favourite YouTubers in Japan died suddenly last week. He was in his early twenties, and from the sound of it, he just dropped dead — fine one day, dead the next. The last video he made, posted some 24 hours before he died, is still online. Several years ago, I would have tried to find an explanation for Rodger's death, somehow make it fit with what I felt I understood about my conception of God and with a big 'g' at that time. I would have known the answer to be that we all sinned and therefore, we all die and even though that wasn't very satisfying, who was I to question God.

I don't know how I feel about Rodger's death now. It's shocking, but Rodger lived some 20-odd good years. Short, yes, but not that short. He died because humans die. I will die. You will die. We all die. It has nothing to do with sin or fallen nature or god. It is simply the world we find ourselves in — there is so little we can understand about it as tiny cells in a huge, living organism. And that's okay. Change, especially intense, sudden change, the change we don't expect even when we should expect it, might be especially difficult, but I'd like to learn to accept it. And I think it's coming along.  I've also noticed that everyone's tributes to him are less about him and more about themselves. I suppose that's right: he is gone and dead, and we are left to make sense of it in our own lives.

So thank you, Rodger, even though now you are dead and everything everyone says about you on the Internet is more to ourselves than to you. I'm glad you saw Japan through non-cynical eyes and tried your best to do your best. I will miss your videos in my inbox next to the endless strings of nonsense that I have devoted my life to trying to understand. You were like a cool sip of water on a hot day. I hope, in spite of the evidence, that somehow you have continued on somewhere.