the infinity thing
By Dalya Cordeiro
In other words, a quick analysis on the true scope of what is “infinite”, and how humankind as a species utterly fails to grasp it.
infinity is a concept i have repeatedly dissected. i think of it while looking at the sky and the sea and the stars and i think about it after i read love stories with their happily ever afters. i cannot grasp the concept of infinity because the human mind is not meant for it, and that is why it’s so infinitely compelling. how do we understand forever? we can’t, and that’s that. we must come to terms with our own insignificance in the universe, and that is our only taste of infinity. is it fair? not really, but it’s true.
perhaps you believe in eternal life, but you cannot truly comprehend it. you simply can’t, and it’s arrogant to believe you could. shortsighted, even, because you’ll wonder what comes after eternity, not capable of internalizing that there is no after. it is a similar phenomenon when we read that the earth is billions of years old, brush it off laughingly, make a joke, shamefully repressing how pathetically useless the human brain continues to be as it vainly attempts to perceive incredible numbers, to fit them into a linear, coherent little picture of reality—so pitifully overshadowed by the vast immensity of the truth of the universe none of us can grasp tight enough to keep.
we are limited in this way, tragically so, constantly stretching out hands and fingers towards the enormity of space in the fragile, broken hope of feeling it reach back, entwine hearts and minds in a oneness so fully incomprehensible yet desperately sought after. our true essence is nothing but endless, plunging void, gaps waiting to be filled, so daunted when seeing our own infinity reflected back at us, so unable to capture the core of what makes us human.
instead, we watch as our sprawling forevers unfurl into countless directions, spanning the width and breadth of the cosmos and yet packed into tight little agglomerations of atoms and dust, confined into delicate, impermanent bodies destined to ultimately shatter and deliver their miniscule infinities back into the stars they descended from. finite infinity is what we are, what we repeatedly dissect, what we are utterly incapable of internalizing.
This piece was the product of a simple prompt: “Write about the word ‘infinite.'” It was done almost entirely in one sitting, and the editing was limited to grammar and structure. Everything else is untouched, left entirely as it was when I first wrote it. Funnily enough, this includes the title, which has always been “the infinity thing.” If nothing else, it’s very straightforward.
Dalya Cordeiro is a quick-witted, curious young woman living in Queens, NY with her mother. She is creative, kind and quick to make you smile. Dalya will be starting college in the fall and is eager to study political science, which is a testament to her deep sense of integrity and admirable moral code. Dalya lives to serve others, and her infectious spirit will undoubtedly continue to change this world for the better.