Prefacing The End

I’m nearing the end of my undergraduate education and I’m thinking, “Freedom.”

But then I’m also thinking, “No, this is freedom — privilege, in fact. The next stage is indentured servitude disguised as freedom of choice. Treasure this purgatory. Mourn this end.”

But then, who could forget these three years of misery and anguish, of individual nerve strands plucked one by one, and future generations fucked over by my increasingly necrotic looking epi-genomes? A very final end is near, and I’m currently anticipating it.

Some ends are definitive — you can feel the difference as it manifests in your life. Others are more ambiguous. We often characterize temporal experience into life stages (childhood, adulthood), yet ironically, we find these labels — and the expectations that come with them — unfitting. My father often comments, somewhat mournfully, on how he doesn’t feel his age, and I have yet to meet someone in their twenties who embodies the perception of what they thought this time would be like ten years ago.

That’s why forebodings of the end can often be met with skepticism (“Millenials: the end of reason!”…”Trump, the end of liberal democracy!”)

How can we know what it means for something to end, truly, until it’s passed? What does it mean for a thing to end so decidedly, particularly when we talk about notions as abstract as culture, or modes of thinking?

There’s been lots of discussion about what is ending now, and as 2016 nears a close, we thought it appropriate to explore a concept as nebulous as this.

Join Graphite Publications as we explore the ends of things, but also as we question what those ends really mean.

Gigi xx

 

Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like
When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, there at the end,
Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he’ll never go back.
When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
No longer appear, not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.
When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky
Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.
— Mark Strand

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