Gold foil illustration of stars

Lachesism

Longing for the Clarity of Disaster

For a million years, we’ve watched the sky and huddled in fear. Feeling the thunder rumble deep in our chests, peering up at the storm clouds gathering on the horizon like an army preparing to invade. Even if you try filling the room with TV weather warnings to give yourself a sense of control, you can still taste the chaos hanging in the air.

And yet, somewhere deep down, you find yourself rooting for the storm, hoping for the worst. As if a part of you is tired of waiting, wondering when the world will fall apart—by lot, by fate, by the will of the gods. Almost daring them to grant your wish. But really, you can wish all you want, because life is a game of chance. And each passing day is another flip of the coin.

You can’t help but take this life for granted. Your eyes gradually adjust to the color of the walls, and your ears tune out the chatter. And while your brain goes numb trying to shake off your complacency, your heart can’t sit still, and your gut is hungry for chaos. Itching to get struck by lightning, plunge over a waterfall, or survive a plane crash. Hoping the trauma will somehow change you, leaving you hardened, stripped down, with clear eyes and a clear mission, forced to choose the one thing worth saving while everything else burns to ash, or send one final message to the people you love the most. Longing to watch society break down one pillar after the next, so you can find out what’s truly important, and let everything else fall away.

The apocalypse is one of the oldest fantasies we have. But it’s not about skipping to the end of the story. It’s a longing for revelation, a revealing of what we already know but cannot see—that none of this is guaranteed, and there’s no such thing as “ordinary life.” That our civilization is just an agreement, one that could be revoked at any time. That beneath our rules and quarrels, we’re stuck together on a wide-open planet where anything can happen, which leaves us no choice but to survive, to build a shelter, and find each other in the storm. Knowing that every passing day is very nearly miraculous, a cascading series of accidents that just happens to fall our way.

Eventually, the storm will pass, the skies will clear, and we’ll pick up our lives just where we left them, no more urgently than before. We’ll soak in the sunshine as if none of it mattered, forgetting the sense of fellowship we once found in the shelter.

That’s alright. It’s just life—it’s not the end of the world.

In Ancient Greek mythology, Lachesis is the middle of the three Fates, the one who decides how much time is to be allotted to each of us, measuring out the thread of life with her rod. Pronounced “lahk-uh-siz-uhm.”

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