Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Tiny Whirl

[T]he earth tinily whirls* and I feel none of it--least of all when I am absorbed in the day's concerns as dense as rain clouds, worries as heavy as iron ore. Then I look up and I am taken away like broadcast seed stolen by birds or wind. We are all sailors here, you see: afloat, ever afloat. So why does it--how can it, at times--feel like we're drowning?

Oh to have it always, that freedom of remembering the tininess, that nothing looms large really, that all is manageable on this good green earth that is actually dominant in blue. Big blue: we call our ocean that: The Big Blue Sea. And it feels so: big and blue. But the poet's words points me to the speck that we are and that our pea-sized earth is from a cosmic point of view. I cannot comprehend the vastness of the Universe with my simple and yes tiny, no matter how magnificent, human brain. That's where the trouble begins, the forgetting. I am grateful to be reminded.

Tonight I remember: we are all small, a lifetime is a mere blink or two in the context of a cosmos. Some take this as a reason to throw up hands and lament, "What's the point!?" To choose resignation is to miss the opportunity. There is an opportunity. Which of the drops of the ocean are the insignificant, expendable ones? Which particles of air don't count? How could we name them? How could we possibly name them, and take that naming seriously?

There is order, deep order to the tiny whirl and all that whirls with it.

*e.e. cummings


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