SAFEGUARDING AGAINST EXISTENTIAL DREAD
Do you remember the first time you really understood that you were going to die? That there was a long time when you weren't, but now you are, and there will come an even longer time when you will no longer be? How the hell did we get over that? How are we not just constantly running around screaming, "Oh fuck you're gonna die, oh fuck that guy's gonna die, oh fuck I'm gonna die!" at one another constantly? Is adulthood really just an unspoken agreement which we all evidently entered to not freak the fuck out about dying and instead distract ourselves with jobs and kids and everything else between now and our inevitable ending?
I remember it was freshman year of high school when the realization hit me. For some people the acknowledgment of your own death is pegged to that of a loved one or maybe a family pet, but I can't point to one particular event as the catalyst. One minute I'd never thought about it before, then the next minute I was standing in the corner of an ice rink during JV hockey practice waiting to take my turn in a drill when I recall thinking, "None of this matters because one day I'm going to die," and having to take myself out of line because I started hyperventilating. In a minute or two it passed, but for the next six months almost constantly I'd be in the middle of something and have to take a break to tell myself that everyone else must have come to some sort of social understanding that things like writing papers or going to work still had value in the face of death, so I had best get back to it.
To this day, I still don't know if everyone else wakes up in a cold sweat at least once a month thinking about how everyone they know and love is going to die, or if I am alone in this.
I guess that when you finally come to accept death, at whatever age that may be, you're really only left with two choices: a paralyzing fear that utterly consumes your life, or an unspoken pact to just be cool about the whole thing. To contextualize my own existence, sometimes I listen to the audio of when NASA's Voyager 1 probe left our solar system back in August 2012 - you can hear it near the end of Radiolab's Where the Sun Don't Shine episode - and it reminds me of the vastness of the universe and that nothing escapes inevitability. I think wearing this Starlit Sky Printed Jacket from and wander would have a similar calming effect. If you can't escape a crushing sense of foreboding doom why not wear the stars on your sleeves and remind yourself that in 5 billion years the sun will explode and engulf the planet anyway, so life's too short not to dig yourself a Jules Verne-esque hole of debt in the unending pursuit of cool clothes.
Brand: and wander
Why: When it comes to outwear, finding the right balance for a printed piece can be a tricky proposition; items like this Snow Peak poncho are cool, but probably a little too in your face for most people's daily wear. This and wander jacket is subtle enough to mask the star printing from a distance and cool enough to be subtly nod-worthy up close. It's also water repellent and made in Japan, so the construction is on point, and while they're currently only stocked at few places in North America, and wander is a brand that more likely than not you'll end up seeing at high end technical retailers in the next year or two. By then this Starlit jacket will be long unavailable, so be happy you were smart enough to hop on board their train early.