Functional zero is zero, but - to the imagination, at least - it is also not zero, just like the fear of being buried alive is both 100 percent irrational and also not. Within those narrow gaps (between irrational and rational, functional zero and zero), creative ingenuity - not just neuroses - can thrive. The pursuit of joy, even if that joy begins as fear and takes the form of preparation against an irrational outcome, is a death wish, maybe. Or it’s a life wish. Or there’s no difference. Texture, at a minimum, better distinguishes days spent this way, and that texture becomes the record of the idiosyncrasies of an individual’s mind.
— What I Learned in Avalanche School, Heidi Julavits in The New York Times