Noone needs to make fossils

They make themselves fine without us.



I know what you are doing today, almost certainly.

You’re doing what you did yesterday, mostly.

What you did last Saturday. If not that, what you did maybe 8 or 9 Saturdays ago.



I know what you are doing today, almost certainly.

Because you are saving time on thinking.

You are going with what works.

Me too.


But I am not doing what I did yesterday.


I am rarely within 500 miles of myself, any two Saturdays in a row.


I am on the move.


Like a house that needs upkeep, our brains need new sights. Those who travel outside a 25-mile radius of their home infrequently are at the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s. As you travel further, and more often, the risk drops off.

And so we see the opportunity cost of figuring things out, one of the privileges of not dying, is that we no longer need to figure things out–that on a physical level, our brains lie down in the roads they’ve cleared and relax. And stay there.

One person told me that she’d figured out why life didn’t get easier when she got older. She’d expected, as she learned more, for her problems to be easier to address. I thought that made sense too.

“But,” she said, “I found new problems that were bigger.”

Rather than seek out larger problems, I’d rather get lost.

There is an invisible shell that hardens around us, in routine–it’s strength comes from our forgetting that we put it there, and thinking someone else did.

Viewed through it, places two hours away can look unreachable. Reporting from one, I’m here to tell you they’re not.

(It seems to me that “because I haven’t before” is equally as good a reason to do anything as “because I usually do”; that for most of us, the world doesn’t need our help to be orderly and predictable; that unlikely is its own reward.)




One thought on “Noone needs to make fossils

  1. radiation says:

    Our hosts understandably don’t allow content from visitors outside their group.

    To comment on a post, tweet and include #radiationComments

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