Me, Douglas Adams the Whale and the Petunias.

I have been having some really vivid dreams. On waking they have felt very real. They are exhausting.

I have been feeling a bit off of late maybe its SAD you know the winter grey day problem but I have been feeling it quite a long time.

I guess it all started with the DWP trying to send me back into the work force at 63 years of age. I don’t really want to go into all the details but I guess I am sniffing the grave as I heard a friend of mine mention in a quote the other day. I had never heard this line before but I do hear my local friends and neighbours say they are shuffling up the queue. This gets up my nose, rather than the scent of the sniff of the grave.

I have always even since I was a young kind worried about the pointlessness of life.

Really as a kid I would make a model or do a lesson at school and think what’s the point of learning or making stuff when I am going to die one day and it will all be for nothing.

I was thinking again on this last night in bed and I thoughts about Douglas Adams book The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

In it there is a sperm whale and a pot of petunias. What occurs with these two things I decided last night is a complete package of what the point of life is all about.

What happens to them and what the say or think is an encapsulated micro cosmos of everything? It’s brilliant. I am not sure if Adams wrote it this way or was aware of it but for me it says it all.

If you are a believer or a non believer in a God or a force you are the whale and if you believe in reincarnation it’s the petunias. It works for me but I’m a little depressed at the moment and take the pills to prove it.

This is what Adams wrote.

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.


And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.

Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.

Er, excuse me, who am I?

Hello?

Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?

What do I mean by who am I?

Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.

Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?

No.

Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …

Or is it the wind?

There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?

And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?

And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.”

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe at this time of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments 1

 
Rosy Cole on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 19:26

Interesting take on the human conundrum What am I doing here? The way you describe it, John, reminds me very much of the Book of Genesis when God calls the cosmos and the creatures into being and assigns names to everything in the environment.

One thing seems clear, that however you construe the Creator of the Universe and beyond, nature has a purpose for all that is brought into being. In the grand scheme of things, nothing is pointless. It helps if we can trust that even when we can't see the wood for trees (which is probably most of the time!)

If you haven't tried one already, I wonder whether you'd find a SAD lamp (light box) a good investment. I wouldn't be without mine and even use it in the summer sometimes. British sunlight isn't that strong and most of us have to work long hours indoors all year round.

Interesting take on the human conundrum [i]What am I doing here?[/i] The way you describe it, John, reminds me very much of the Book of Genesis when God calls the cosmos and the creatures into being and assigns names to everything in the environment. One thing seems clear, that however you construe the Creator of the Universe and beyond, nature has a purpose for all that is brought into being. In the grand scheme of things, nothing is pointless. It helps if we can trust that even when we can't see the wood for trees (which is probably most of the time!) If you haven't tried one already, I wonder whether you'd find a SAD lamp (light box) a good investment. I wouldn't be without mine and even use it in the summer sometimes. British sunlight isn't that strong and most of us have to work long hours indoors all year round.
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