Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Metaphor School

Clouds. Like the condensation on a glass of water in the heat of summer, they sweat their fat droplets on the sides of our glass when their weight becomes too much to bear. Like the cup on whose sides we draw misty circles, the sphere we call home holds us in place also-like the container holding our favorite beverage. But then why, in our haste to label its contents as a single entity--water, beer, some fruity chemical imitation of a liquid--do we persist in labeling the inhabitants of our own glass as separate, different, wholly apart from one another? Why when those tiny molecules of carbon and oxygen can be separated by the curious mind, can be dissected and individuated so easily, the way we have done to ourselves apart from one another; we call it both one thing made up of parts, but one thing in its naming?

The hand is not just a hand. It is a collection of cells and organelles and atoms and electrons and, and, and...we recognize it. But to call a hand anything but by its name, primary to the collection of pieces and parts that create its surface, is to disregard its purpose.

Like the water in its sweating glass, like the hand attached to the person, like the person contained within this ball of carbon and oxygen, we are all parts of a whole. The whole does not exist without its parts--nor do the parts exist without the whole.

We've forgotten how it works. From the smallest atom to the fattest soul, to the largest boulders and the vastest oceans, we are all a part and contained within a body greater than our own. And not in some woo-woo, new-age, bullshittery (some might say) way, but in the way that we are all literally breathing the same air, sown of the same soil, borrowers of the same waves of light and of energy over and over again, until the energy our greater body has borrowed gets handed over for the birth of something else. In the way that your marrow will one day feed the first meal of a forager. In the way that science tells us that energy cannot be created or destroyed, we are all here sharing everything with everyone else-and you are not alone as much as a leaf is alone on a tree.

We are all here as pieces of a body. Your body is pieces of other bodies. And on and on; nothing can exist as separate from anything else. So why do we insist on acting like it?

I'm not a tree-hugger. I'm not an environmentalist. I'm not a scientist or even a guru. I am all of these things and none of them because in their labeling they lose their value -- I believe that we are all of these things and many more at our cores. I am simply someone looking for my individuation while trying to understand my connection to everything else -- marrying the two into something that makes sense of my place as a body and a cell, all at once.

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