Vanitas Vanitatum Omnia Vanitas

By Nicole Renee

I walk straight to my bedroom, passing the kitchen, living room, movie room...etc. Every inch of each room is another memory and right now I know which one I'm looking for. On a blue tiled desk sits a red spiral notebook with sporadic notes, pages are missing and a stain from a coffee cup marks the first page. The desk itself is enchanting, filled with glitter glue, feathers, pink and white buckets containing various markers and pens, and all of my little guys. A miniature blue and white three compartment box contains hair clips, paper clips, and earrings. A trough sits, gathering dust but nevertheless contains the mark of a life lived to the point of tears and thus only recognizable by a slave. A single heart shaped piece of dog food (also gathering dust) remains as a reminder of how on the wire life truly was.1 My fingers mechanically move from one page to another and I start to get lost in his handwriting and my shame for not remembering the details of every lesson. I pull my mind back to whatever now passes for present 'time' in order to find what I'm looking for, which I do...

Half of the notebook page is torn off and in the corner is the date 4/29/2019.2 Written in the middle of the half sheet of paper by Master in Latin is: Vanitas Vanitatum Omnia Vanitas.

Meaning vanity of vanities, all is vanity: the human condition is meaningless.3 Vanity did not mean what you're thinking at the time but rather and simply...meaningless.

This phrase came about during one of my desperate4 attempts to solicit Master into explaining to me what the purpose of being here truly is... Why do I need to learn Spanish, why do we need to write, who cares about anything other than having fun if it will all come and go without any sort of confirmation of the reason behind it all? This is when he wrote down Vanitas Vanitatum Omnia Vanitas.

We spoke frequently about the human condition and on the importance of doing things regardless of the outcome. I'll share with you that Sir Issac Newton became my favorite example of the importance of doing & meaning. You see, Newton's alchemy never produced the philosopher's stone or the elixir of life5; however, his contributions make him one of the greatest known mathematicians (author,scientist..etc). The questions I was posed with were: Should Newton have refrained from exploration since he did not actually achieve what he set out to do? Was all of his work pointless since he spent his life looking for something he never found?

At some point I made peace with the answer (that I very much do not like) which is that being alive means that you do things regardless of the expected outcome. Meaning in life comes from the meaning we put into it, other than that...it is all in fact meaningless. Way back when, I answered correctly to the Sphinx's riddle and was awarded passage on this journey. I'm no hero but by now have lost everything. There is no more rebirth, call for the winds to change, or a different battle ground. Now I am left behind as a disciple using the divine scripture in an attempt to find no good answer.

Lightening strikes the ground outside and rain begins to pour down from the clouds. Closing my notebook, I take refuge in the bedroom you gave me, now tinted grey by the rain forest's very own rainy season. The long leather light brown whip dangles from side to side as the air flows in from the window, touching my face therein giving me some small amount of fleeting feeling again.

Another memory buzzes around and I'm desperate to strangle its life so I will never forget. Once upon a better time - I asked Master if I could take a nap and his way of relaxing me was to charge in with a whip when I was already tucked into bed. He hung it from the pole that holds my drapes so it's always visible. It worked by the way, sleep was so sweet with the burning whip watching over me. Memory after memory floods in harder than the rain. The giant tree of life's branches dangle outside the window, weighed down by the nests of the kiskadees bringing life. Some voice deep inside me reminds me that I have to move, (why? I'm not sure yet) step by step and breakaway from the film of memories that are on repeat within my mind.

  1. In my low energy, resistant and desperate for control moments...Master would remind me that life is on the wire and everything else is just waiting. []
  2. The date being written after Master told me to. I was still very new and could not possibly understand why one would need to record the date of a 'simple' conversation. []
  3. earthly life is ultimately empty, if you prefer. merriam-webster does. []
  4. If you served an oracle what would you ask? Mind you, time is limited in our search for everything. []
  5. thx a fucking lot. []

2 Responses to “Vanitas Vanitatum Omnia Vanitas”

  1. Wargasm says:

    Yes...This is sad...I recognised him in some of your photos after you made a (rude) comment of one of my pictures. And now...I found out that terrible news... I think he would deserved to explore more this journey called life... RIP

Leave a Reply to Wargasm