So It Goes


This piece by Skip Hursh reminds me of Vonnegut. Specifically, the Tralfamadorian concept of time. It’s like how an alien with a different concept of time would see a person: The vibrance of youth slowly decaying as death steadily approaches, but all at once and never changing. When one does not perceive reality from the lens of linear time then the movements, twists, and trials of life are all one fixed and still pattern. Humans actually have millions upon millions of legs.

“The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.

When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is ‘so it goes.’”
-Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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