The thing I fear while alone in the wild

I’m starting to get at, and uncover, the haunting thing which I always meet while alone in the deep wild. When it finds me – usually at night – I have to swallow hard to get down the animal fear and instinct of a million years. Our fearful programming is no childish thing, as the danger of our mortality is real; though circumstance and fact are not what they used to be. Instead of fangs and claws, my worry now is the smallness of my flickering light, which gutters and bends in the winds of midlife. We forget this fact while at home and at work, where the company and nearness of others cause the impression that our individual lights are somehow pooled; made brighter through an aggregate sense of society. We believe then that our light is more likely to sustain should one or the other of us go out. There’s truth to this, at the indifferent level of heredity and genes, though it’s false to think our flame will truly go on, as death does seemingly do irrevocable harm and ruin to every life which will ever live. All alone then in the wild, with the darkness of the universe crowding close, our little flame consumes hungrily at what small fuel we are. There’s no reassuring comfort here of others; no warm and friendly flames of friends and loved ones to offer false hope; only the cold light of the soulless beasts moving indistinctly out there in the deep night, looking upon our little light as nothing more than another silent and pale twinkle in the coming empty.

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