Do you ever feel like two distinctly different people? In all honesty I feel like a small village most days, but for example's sake, when I wake up, I am often this slow moving, quiet, patient, contemplative bag of water, while once the sun sets, I am a high energy, giggling, social, vanity-prone bag of water. I am a pretty self-assured person, unless I'm not. Unless I'm a pool of water collecting at the base of a table. Cat paws painting me into little archipelagos.
The brain is an infinitely interesting, unceasingly complex, wrinkly, little osage orange. It is also a rabbit hole. That an instrument of such deft processing (especially in groups) can simultaneously be distracted, afraid, or in my case, completely bewildered, is a spray of saplings in the mud. Every time I think about the fact that I have a brain (and a good one, too!) I am befuddled at what takes up its days. I'm a huge advocate for all beings forgiving themselves their nature and of their expectations and living life with as little judgement as one can muster. But think of the pure computing power of the most intelligent species the world has ever brought forth. We could, in theory, do anything. Perhaps we will.
At the moment, we are constantly struggling with our numbers. We are a surging, burning thing, and we are only now having to deeply reckon with our unyielding dominance over a planet that has given us everything we own. The wounds of the blue green world stitched closed with christmas lights. We contemplate other habitable worlds, without acknowledging that without changed attitudes no changed outcome will come. Technology, the bright torch leads the way through the darkness, but leaves us short sighted. Doesn't allow our eyes to adjust to the glow, our ears to the hum.
I think of the living bridges formed from the roots of trees in Indonesia and Northern India. A bridge made entirely from the dense root system of two rubber trees (Ficus elastica) from opposite banks. They are bent and guided over years and decades, to not only connect over wide rivers, but to replace the bamboo bridges swallowed by the churning currents of ancient rivers like the Bayang. They actually grow stronger over time, and bridges made as far back as 1890 effortlessly carry loads of up to 50 people (more than would conceivably fit) to this day.
I think of the relationship between crow and man. How researchers have taught crows to pick up coins and litter and throw them in special trash cans for some sweet, sweet peanuts. And how crows have shown their capacity to teach man, by attacking the exact university lab technicians who had performed tests involving electric shock on them when the students returned to campus for a reunion 10 or so years later. Or most importantly, of the treasures collected for the eight year old girl in Seattle by her murder of friends since she decided to make them dining companions.
I think of primitive building methods and how shelter is at its core just swaddling your self in mother earth. How every tool used to extract water and mineral, to kill sensitive, weary prey and harvest high hanging fruit are all made from the thing we stand on. No matter how shiny and symmetrical and far from the ground they go. And how we claim over and over again that we own these objects that we had no part in making, feeding ourselves with things whose origin is a mystery to us, and keeping each other at arms length so we can breathe.
But who hears the breathing?
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