Monsters are simply beings that are unknown and large. We grow obsessions with them. We don’t mind small things we don’t understand. We can live with those. The mysterious virus that laid us in our beds for a day. The thousands of species of insects we will never find. The tiny community of people far up the mountains of Switzerland who speak a language no one else understands.

But the great, gaping chasms of the Earth – we will not rest until we have measured the depth of every ocean; we will not sleep until we have named every star in the sky; we will not stop until we have caught every monster in the sea and cut them into pieces; we will not say enough until we have hung the heads of every great beast on our walls and ground their bones into powder; we will not dream peacefully until we know what dreams are; we will not die until we know why we came; we will not leave until we know what is next.

We will illuminate every darkness and predict every storm and we fear it all. We will not cry out success! until everything has been proven. We intrepidly and blindly seek so many answers we forget to ask questions and become angry when no one replies. We refuse to believe our flesh and our bones are that of animals but we believe in gods we have never seen or heard or touched. We deny ourselves the joy found in the inevitability of death but believe in the joys of a tomorrow that might not come.

Only in death do we feel the emptiness we have carried with us all of our lives. Only then – between our very last single breath and a complete stillness we have never known – do we realize our mistake. Amidst everything we have discovered and gathered and kept, we stand undeniably alone in our cold homes. And in this tiny moment, we awaken before the deepest sleep. By then, it is too late to tell the others. They will find out in their own time. The curse beneath the blessing of a self-aware life.