Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

That is the very essence of what it means to be mortal, yet it is difficult to fully imagine, let alone accept. Our lives are literally everything to us, and they feel so brimming and momentous while we are living them that it is hard to grasp how fleeting they are compared to the whole of human history, to say nothing of the vast sweep of space and time. This radical discrepancy between the scale of our own lives and the scale of the rest of existence can leave us feeling two different ways. One of them, akin to the feeling of losing something, is that the universe is dauntingly large and we are terrifyingly insignificant. The other, akin to the feeling of finding, is that the universe is dauntingly large and yet here we are, unimaginably unlikely and therefore precious beyond measure. As with so many other contrasting feelings, most of us will experience both of these eventually. It is easy to feel small and powerless; easy, too, to feel amazed and fortunate to be here.

Kathryn Schulz, Lost & Found: A Memoir (Random House; January 11, 2022)


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