What of Tomorrow?
By Regis Auffray
An essay by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.
What of Tomorrow?
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
Everything is taken for granted – but nothing as consistently as tomorrow. We think we have a pretty good handle on knowing what tomorrow will bring, and we play at being surprised when it doesn’t quite conform with the “tomorrow” thought, idea, feelings of dread, of hope, of despair, or the expectations we took to bed the night before. Or it’s morning, we look out the window, or more likely glance out of habit at the TV screen and say, “Same old, same old.” Having some sort of “handle” on tomorrow makes “life” (our type of life) consistently predictable and relatively safe or so we like to believe. At the very, very least, that consistency is always good for business, and isn’t everything some kind of business?
Before we get to the question, there is one more thing we should know: there is always a tomorrow, even if... even when... we wake up dead: that’s a different kind of tomorrow, that’s all. There is always a tomorrow.
Quote: “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.” (from McBeth – by Shakespeare) So there is always a tomorrow since we have yet to face “the last syllable of recorded time” – although with all that hullaballoo about 2012 and the Mayan calendar, maybe this time... and who knows? But this is today, not tomorrow.
Question: Is it tomorrow that which becomes today so we get to live through it while another tomorrow comes rattling down the tracks for an infinitesimal stop at the station – just long enough to allow our reference point to board? If we counted the days since we were born we would know how many times we boarded tomorrow to make it today. Then perhaps we would start to wonder: what’s the point of that? Well, from that point of view, there is no point, of course. But there is also no choice because the fact of living today earns us the ticket for the next boarding. Guaranteed. No one is allowed to loiter on the station’s loading platform either.
And the train rattles off for another 24 hours exactly on time, always exactly on time. Nor does it ever meet any other train coming the other way – never.
Why no choice, no change? Could it be because that is the reality we are all collectively bound up in and as the clackety-clack of the wheels on the tracks mesmerize us we never quite wake up long enough to say “enough of this already?” Did I hear someone mention suicide? Doesn’t work either. The one who terminates that way is still on the train, for only the body can die on the today train. They’ll cart that off, of course, but the consciousness – that being the real thing - will carry on and board the next tomorrow → today train and there will be a birth on the train. Guaranteed.
What is tomorrow? Something that just is? Something pre-determined since eons past? Something some divine entities create for each and everyone, day after day, just to keep the train going? The absolutely inevitable after-effect of today? I used to wonder what it would be like if “tomorrow” showed up and the “today” scene hadn’t been set-up, the stage crew had gone on strike, or gone on vacation. You board the tomorrow → today train and there’s nothing, just blank. What would you do in that case? You couldn’t go back home and take that day off, there is no home. Well, I suppose you couldn’t do anything because you wouldn’t exist in that non-reality so you’d never know you missed a day of your life or an eon. An interesting thought, that.
We say, “Tomorrow is promised to no one...” or, “Tomorrow never comes...” or “Tomorrow everything will be better...” but that isn’t true, is it? We just want it to be true and we make it true in our mind. It’s just fiction, fairy tale, a bedtime story we tell ourselves so that we may not lose our sanity in the pointlessness of it all. And then we frantically go to work, collectively and subconsciously to set up the tomorrow that will give us our utterly predictable today reality. And that’s the fear of the unknown and the (apparent) timeless curse. The only way we know to set up the stage for tomorrow → today is by adding another paragraph to the same un-ending story using the same old props, the same bored or indifferent actors (us) and the same dialogue. Woe to all if it’s a badly written and badly acted story to begin with for without major revision to the storyline; some sort of induced mayhem, chaos or catastrophe, everyday will be lived in Pleasantville.
I’m thinking, couldn’t tomorrow → today be changed without resorting to mayhem and chaos? Without introducing natural cataclysms, wars, economic collapses, end-times scenarios; pandemics of every description? Sure it could. Anyone, you, could choose to walk out of this “Theatre de l’absurde” and they can’t stop you: you need your ticket to get in, you don’t need one to get out. Thinking that way could cause a mild case of panic: what if there is no tomorrow then? Or if it’s just a blank? Ah but that’s where real change comes in: you get to create your own tomorrow. Sure it’s a lot harder than just being a stage hand or an extra, but imagine the satisfaction of realizing, when you board your today train, that you have your own car to yourself; the entire scene is new; and all the life here is of your own making. Writer, producer, actor, stage manager. Not bad and you’ll get better at it with each new boarding because now you are conscious of your doings and have taken responsibility for the results.
That is the tomorrow → today every Avatar is already working with.
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