The Glow Cloud

I revisited the second episode of Welcome to Night Vale and found myself jotting down this segment:

“The glow cloud, meanwhile, has moved on. It is now just a glowing spot in the distance, humming east to destinations unknown. We may never fully understand or understand at all what it was and why it dumped a lot of dead animals on our community. But, and I’m going to get a little personal here, that’s the essence of life, isn’t it? Sometimes you go through things that seem huge at the time, like a mysterious glowing cloud devouring your entire community. While they’re happening, they feel like the only thing that matters and you can hardly imagine that there’s a world out there that might have anything else going on. And then the glow cloud moves on. And you move on. And the event is behind you. And you may find, as time passes, that you remember it less and less. Or absolutely not at all, in my case.”

Ironically, change is one of the few constants in life. It is a marker of milestones and perpetual movement: losing your first tooth, watching your pet hamster die, making a new friend, heading off to college. And sometimes there are events, miles away and fuzzy in the horizon, that dissolve into memory like salt in water.

I think that the fear associated with change comes from the absence of knowing what will be permanent—everything is subject to change. This includes memories, and it’s something that I fear the most: what matters to me now will pass with time, and the events that are currently encompassing my life will fade with time. But it’s an irrational fear, isn’t it? Because if I make an active effort to keep this memories and thoughts burning, they may flicker, but they won’t die. I just need to find a way to kindle and treat those flames.


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