• Styles Yugen

Handprints

Water drips from the musty cave’s roof. Dust kicks up around your boots. And your torch flickers. But there! Amongst those damp pillars and unseen dark corners is a handprint, fingers splayed and red pigment blown around the outline. Untouched for unknown aeons, you approach and press your hand where that ancient person did. It lines up perfectly. And in that moment there is no real separation between you and a quite different thing called the universe.


The easiest way to tell is to stop talking, to stop naming, and to just feel. Press your hand against a cave wall, imagine the person who traced their hand there untold millennia ago, and know you’re feeling the same thing. Cool, damp, rough. Everything pressed into your palm is just the way it was for that ancient person.


At that moment, it’s quite obvious that there’s no real separation between you and them, or even you and the universe. You, that ancient person, everything. It all converges in that one experience that wouldn’t be possible without its constituent parts. If you weren’t there, you couldn’t experience, couldn’t appreciate, couldn’t realize reality. If that ancient person wasn’t there the handprint wouldn’t exist and there would be no common link. And if the universe wasn’t there, there would be nothing to carry the torch for untold millennia.

Imagine how different your life is from that ancient person. But also know that this one experience is identical. That handprint on the cave wall brought you back to something so old, it’s the same--a primordial truth of the human experience.


I can imagine in my mind’s eye when I press my hand against that handprint that I’m pressing my hand against that ancient human’s, and for just a moment, can try to understand the greater way of things. There are no distractions, no neoteric claptraps to get in the way of something elemental to humanity.


We feel the world around us. This hasn’t changed, not even for those who hack their bits off and become partially mechanized. They still feel, albeit differently.

We experience the universe as a small piece of it. Within it, we are able to see, smell, and feel everything that exists, has existed, or will exist.


And that’s something I forget, you magnificent bastards. We live in a universe where we can feel and experience magnificent things. Look out your window sometime and think: what handprint are you going to leave behind for a descendant to press their palm to?


Styles Yugen, signing off.


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.