Muddling through the levels of purgatory is, in my present mind, a more painful experience than meddling in the pits of hell. At the very least, hell attaches purpose to your existence through your imperative to resist and endure torment. The very essence of your soul is subject to a maillard reaction when seared in the skillets of Demons, your eyes bubble like a crackpot on high heat and your insides turn to Louisiana authentic gumbo and back on a minute long interval cycle. But through tenacity you fight every moment, and maintain a sense of self amidst your beratement. Perhaps you even get free time, for arts and crafts. The prudent minded will top up their chess game as best they can in hopes of proving their worth to Satan, by edging Hitler in a 5 minute blitz set, and earning their way out from the depths. That’s an optimistic picture though, its probably worse than I paint it to be, but I can’t really say for certain. Despite all the times I’ve been told to go I’ve never gotten around to making the trip. The thing about hell though, is that that eternal torture is never something you have to anticipate. As soon as you begin to feel that agony upon arrival, you can know, in your heart of hearts that this place, and these feelings will be the most significant thing in your life. You’re living it, so long as time remains infinite.
The insufferable pain one feels in purgatory comes from waiting, stagnant in a limbo state. Demons won’t baste you with magma on a rotisserie; you won’t have your lungs collapsed and reinflated, you won’t have the hydration siphoned from your body. You’re just aware of its eventuality, upon arrival to life’s next destination. However, hell will be an important segment of your degenerate life, similar to the proud time you had on the planet earth. We’ve already unraveled the meaningfulness of your check in to the netherworld. Suffice it to say that the journey there, purgatory, is devoid of that meaning. Purgatory is sitting idle, trying to avoid awkward eye contact with Dante as you wait for what comes next. It is biding ones time. Developing expectations. Floating. Boredom. The colossal flames of hell can’t hold a candle to the way that monotony burns flesh.
This’ll seem like a random change in direction. You’ll often hear trite quips about living for the moment circling the cornball circuit of the Internet. Something along the lines of, “live every moment as if they were your last.” There will be a sunset on a mountaintop or a music festival in the background. The suggestion made by these is that fulfillment in life is indefinitely found through impetuousness; hedonism, frivolousness and an unruly give to the id. Prudence need not be applied to a good time. Admittedly, my adolescent years have been made nothing short of extraordinary due to me implementing these qualities. Although I remain firm on the necessity of imprudence in early life, it is a lifestyle that is nigh unsustainable. When practiced for the long haul, one can only fizzle out, or crash and burn.
So this in mind, how does one squeeze all the fulfillment possible out of life’s emblematic lemons? I still wholeheartedly believe that moment chasing is the most sensible path to walk. Before it all comes to an end, at least within your own mind, your existence will be captured in a highlight reel of these chased moments. Not a full life feature film, not a biopic of a legacy. I doubt Freddie Mercury saw his full career in a flash before he kicked the bucket, I wouldn’t doubt for a second that he might have seen thousands of hands clapping along to Radio Gaga at Wembley.
The secret, at least I believe, lies in forward movement. Chasing moments can only be justifiable behavior when racing along the laneways of a track. It is essential to create a plan revolving around the broad outcome of one’s life. Set long terms goals to fulfill, regardless of gravity or absurdity. Anything suffices, so long as the goal of your moment chasing extends beyond simply chasing moments. Corollary, I’ve found that constant evaluation of that goal is an absolute necessity. Consistent revision ensures that they are legitimate, introspective and genuine.
Also, my use of anything is not hyperbolic; the continent of life’s desire engulfs the entire planet. If it is your dream to rob banks, I look forward to seeing your name in the annuls of thievery along side Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut. If your dream is to uncover the multiverse, I hope you win a fistfight with your alternate self in order to be able to say that you got there first.
So long as your endeavors remain beneficial to your larger plan, it is then permissible to employ a “live for the moment” attitude. Your frivolousness stops looking like an erratic pinball machine, and begins looking like a drag race with a clear finish line. Your ambitions allow you to facilitate a lifestyle of fulfillment without ever really running out of gas. So start writing Bohemian Rhapsody, and seek out an astrophysicist guitarist. Those clapping hands are just over the horizon.
Now, follow me down a primrose path of dalliance as I bring this full circle. The most arduous segments of life are those that lack momentum. More specifically, the segments that are missing meaningful progression, or meaning in general. To an individual that understands what he or she desires, and how to obtain it, nothing is more harrowing than being circumstantially incapable of putting their plans into fruition. Yet, it is a transitional period that most must endure once they realize what they actually want in life. It can be as simple as ambling through boring summers when school is the one place you can accomplish everything.
When you can’t chase after your dreams, despite feeling asleep, it is painful stagnation. You’re meaninglessly sitting idle in front of your plan: waiting for what comes next, biding ones time, developing expectations. Floating. In a way, it almost resembles… Purgatory. Ah, suddenly my ramblings from earlier don’t seem so disconnected. Truthfully, the only reason I have for writing what I have written is that I, am currently trapped in the valueless limbo I’ve just spoken of. I am, as of right now circumstantially incapable of true progression. And I’ve made a realization about my state of affairs. That I desperately crave the next step of my life’s plan, irrespective of how painful and difficult the next step may be. No matter how closely it resembles hell. I say bring it on, I’ve endured waiting without meaning long enough. Rid me of anticipation, pull me down and out of my metaphorical purgatory, and let me give all of your regards to the Devil.
If you happen to be savvy enough to imagine that this is nothing more than an elaborate way of me saying that I’m bored. My rebuttal is this… You’re absolutely right.