The Biggest Wave

Six o five.

Last night I thought about my girlfriend from ten years ago and how liberated she seemed to be. Just now I remember that she and I were each the youngest member of our respective family, and according to a book cowritten by John Cleese, the youngest child is the most independent and free of all of them. Also I was thinking of how I regret our breakup every single day. I chose to quit drinking and being a free spirit because it would have killed me otherwise. Still there’s this regret for what used to be. So then I considered Hellenistic philosophy again, their dilemma over ethics of happiness. Epicurus and Zeno disagreed on what constitutes the good life: the pursuit of pleasure or stoic restraint and self discipline; while the Skeptics simply didn’t know either way. The position of Epicurus was actually more complex than that, but traditionally people have simplified the picture like this. I’m still a Skeptic on the matter and I would never discourage anyone from living life to the fullest. And yet, the song by After the Fire from many years ago ends with, “The more you live, the faster you will die.” The same from Pink Floyd: “And balanced on the biggest wave / You race towards an early grave.” So, what is the value of our freedom if we can’t do whatever we want to do? Well, it beats the alternative. 


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