when absurdism kicks in
We all have moments when the absurdity of existence seems to abruptly dawn upon us. For those with an absurdist bent of mind, such glimpses can become prolonged reflections - a certain lens through which everyday experiences are filtered and found. I do not claim to understand reality in its totality nor assert these ephemeral, absurd musings as objective truth. They represent but one perspective among many, born in quiet instants of introspection.
One place it often hits me is on the subway. My mind starts wandering as I stare off into space while being jostled in the crowded train car. I begin contemplating the utter strangeness and pointlessness of what we're all doing - cramming ourselves into metal boxes so we can rush somewhere and do some task, only to do it again the next day.
Most viscerally absurd, however, are glimpses into the butcher's domain in hypermarkets, where flesh is carved, packaged, and displayed with clinical precision. There hangs slabs of muscle and sinew that so recently belonged to a living, breathing creature. A creature that, like myself, wished to exist and avoid pain. The jarring contradiction between the bucolic farm scenes we imagine and this harsh display of dismemberment forcibly reminds me that I, too, am just a biological machine doomed to decay. It is there that absurdism kicks most powerfully, shaking me to my core with questions about the meaning – or lack thereof – of this strange, absurd circle of life that is humanity.
In these moments, when the pretenses fade, I am struck by sheer irrationality. It is an uncomfortable yet clarifying perspective, shattering illusions of control and purpose. And in that shattering, perhaps, lies a perverse freedom.