I am a feather on the breath of God.
~Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Nobody can fall so low unless he has a great depth.
If such a thing can happen to a man, it challenges his best and highest on the other side; that is to say, this depth corresponds to a potential height, and the blackest darkness to a hidden light.
Each baby…is a unique collision — a cocktail, a remix — of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.
When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes — we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again.
Sit, just sit
sit with it all
sit through it all
steadfast, upright, tender.
— Joan Halifax
I’m sure if the universe wanted to make me again it could, but maybe once is enough. It probably knows what it’s doing. I’d like to think I’ve evolved a little in this lifetime, but it all happened because of a very specific, unrepeatable drama, with unrepeatable fellow actors. Next time around, though, I hope I move more slowly and with more consideration for unintended consequences. I hope I learn to meditate earlier and practice it more consistently. I hope I learn to see how character is influenced by context.
If it sounds like I’m planning my next lifetime, I’m not, I’m actually going to wait until I can see and understand a bit more clearly what happened and why. In any case, that’s something that is done in the…