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By: Maria Popova What a 13,000-year-old eucalyptus tree reveals about the meaning of human life. “Our overblown intellectual faculties seem to be telling us both that we are eternal and that we are not,” philosopher Stephen Cave observed in his poignant meditation on our mortality paradox And yet we continue to long for the secrets of that ever-elusive eternity. For nearly a decade, Brooklyn-based artist, photographer, and Guggenheim Fellow Rachel Sussman has been traveling the globe to discover and document its oldest organisms — living things over 2,000 years of age.