The Thing about Existential Dread

So I saw this illustration on Facebook the other day and it felt so accurate that I am bringing it here, although I cannot find the illustrator. If you happen to see it, please let me know.

existential dread

The thing about existential dread is how it drains

The color from every wall in your head, how it grows past


Every other emotion, the way a shadow can inflate itself

Until it is taller than the thing the light is hitting, whether


Self or other. The trick with existential dread is to move

So that the shadow must run if it wants to keep up:


Vacuum the rug, do cardio, chase the cat through

The living room—the room for living not simply existing—


Follow the cat’s example and live in the present moment,

This present moment, the only one we ever really have,


The one so hard to stay in. Don’t let the existential dread

Set in, don’t let it set in. Make pasta if you must, add pesto,


Eat it with gusto. Shop for a new tie to look dapper in. Don’t

Let the existential dread set in. Don’t let it set in. Keep moving.

17 comments on “The Thing about Existential Dread

  1. Widdershins says:

    Cats are the purrrfect cure for just about anything. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PJS says:

    Strangely, the little guy (person) there in the drawing reminds me of the figure in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” which is all about existential dread.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God I’m so glad that I found this post! Thank you, it really spoke volumes to me. Blessings – I’m going to go and pet the cat of my friend that I’m staying with!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is really good especially your words. It is difficult to remember to live. I should write that somewhere. LIVE.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Doggo says:

    I completely understand. This used to be a major problem for me, to the point where I became best friends with my bed.

    Meditation and spending a lot of time outside helped a lot. And I mean *a lot*. It helped me to realize that there actually is meaning to life and existence, despite how weird things can get.


  6. C. R. says:

    Are you going to update with a link to the creator’s original work?


  7. Timo Brouwer says:

    so this means you have to literally physically attempt to move away from your inability to be still and silent – it just makes you restless.


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