A while back, I came across the idea of dealing with trying to hold two incompatible statements as both true as a means of generating discussion. Postmodernism has a lot to answer for, but it's a useful tool at times.
i, Life is precious. Each and every human contains depths that can't be articulated, live interior lives richer than language can express, and their lives are unique and important. We are each a world, a perspective, and each of our lives cannot be repeated and only dimly comprehended.
ii, Life is just about worthless. You, I, and everyone we know will die, our accomplishments will decay into dust, and it will be as if we were never here. We kill each other in indifference, we kill with indifference. Wars are fought, we buy and sell each other daily in myriad ways, and the world simply doesn't care. There is no cosmic plan, no reason given to us for being, and everything you value or dream about will be taken away and destroyed.
I once had a nineteen year old ask me why she shouldn't commit suicide. I couldn't really articulate a good reason not to do so. That has, up to recently, always frightened me.
But I'm coming to the conclusion that not being able to articulate a reason is not the same as thinking it doesn't exist. Life is understood only in the experience of it. And sometimes it is breathtakingly, searingly beautiful. Not in spite of the fact that it is so goddamned cheap, but in part because of that fact. It's not something that can be stated, but it's real. To understand that what we do with our lives is both vitally important and almost worthless is the start of a sense of responsibility in which we can truly live. But again, it's something that can only be felt, not explained.
We have to give up hope, to suspend it, without falling into despair. Hope is an illusion which will break us.
I bought a couple of pot-plants today. They replace a couple which died. They're also going to die, but I'm still going to plant them, feed them and water them. And appreciate them brightening up the place.