“Dust to dust” is sanctimoniously intoned at many funerals, as a sober reminder and warning of human origins and endings. I expand that to encompass the entire universe. Dust arises from quantum effects, we suppose, and everything follows from its later behavior. Dust clouds drift in space, suns accumulate, burn, explode. Elements form and clump into planets and eventually all may be cold dust once more.

Life is little more than a drive to survive. Conscious life seems to center on the importance of continuation. Once a person or a tribe escapes a desperate hardscrabble existence, the mind reaches for “what next.” A thousand year Reich, an eternity of heaven or hell, generational estates and so on. Some even dream of the continuation of their own civilization.

But with eight billion people around these days, dust to dust remains true. Not only my body, but also my hopes, fears, accomplishments good and bad. In time _ if there really is such a thing as time _ we are all inconsequential.

But those moments between dust and dust have been very important to me. In fact it is me. And accepting that fact _ not claptrap about the future _ I become and remain real. At least as real as the dust at my feet.

I am not against life, or accomplishment. I remain proud of all I have done. However I will know that whatever the future may be, it does not care.

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