It’s like the joke about the monk who orders a hot dog: “Make me one with everything.”
We’re already there. We get that.
Indeed. In fact. And yet.
We treat ourselves as individuals. We operate in a competitive, psychologically entrepreneurial world of “best ideas,” “best knowledge,” “best having my act together.” It isn’t, in fact, all that truly collaborative. Even in the wisdom market, we want to hawk our wares. Ego dominates and tries to deliver, shouting out among the vendors.
And yet. (period)
There are such beautiful examples of interconnection, conversation, art. Here is only one stunning, intrinsically humble “Conversation” for example, one of the many, desperately needed, deliberate communities, connections available to all.
To start at the beginning, it is only a thought: you can think that you are thinking only for yourself; that you are hidden in your head, in the privacy of personal mind. But even there, I suggest, you are not. You are part of the field of human endeavor. You are evidence of a conscious and intentional history, as a person with a connection to a time, a family, an ethnicity, a larger cultural politic and nation-state. You cannot say you are alone. You are a son or daughter, sister, brother, with these parents, these children, tapping away on the keys to someone in Dubai, maybe a little drunk, at midnight, pouring out your secret heart. You are part of a stream, part of a common Nature that flows from unknown antiquity into the unknown future on a happenstance, this turquoise marble. You are memories, each one of which like the grain of a photograph becomes an inheritance — the inheritance of a family in a hidden album in an attic of the past.
And you cannot tell, can you, what deft union there might be between your thought and the thought of others? Do you feel only alone? Or are your feelings part of a shared, conscious universe that includes, even celebrates your loneliness? Is your life a random experiment in being, or an indispensable, indistinguishable element of a greater union?
You feel (inside) an unsubstantiated, pre-ordained locus of freedom. Of identity. (An imperfect perfection).
And at the core, there is something that says, “Lead, if only, only me.”
How stunning. How beautiful. How renewing to know that you are the craft of your own intelligence, your own poem and painting, your own message in a bottle floating on an ether of unknowing. Fire-fangled feathers dangle down.
How bittersweet, and of the heart and of the soul, that you should be here, finding love among the shadows, the losses, of this ragged, inequitable violence of connection, this humanity.
And yet and yet
How you stand on the doorstep of a greatness and generosity of being that includes every single one of us
And how you give, beyond any shadow of any doubt, this essential something that we can all hope for; need want desire as if
the whole thing depends only on you and me
which of course is the truth we are perpetually scared of
(and yet) cannot help living toward
because it is also something so (I don’t know what to say)
that we (I don’t know what comes next — you are the one with the words)
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