Statistically, the probability of any one of us being here is so small that you’d think the mere fact of existing would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise. We are alive against the stupendous odds of genetics, infinitely outnumbered by all the alternatives who might, except for luck, be in our places…
We violate probability, by our nature. To be able to do this systematically, and in such wild varieties of form, from viruses to whales, is extremely unlikely; to have sustained the effort successfully for several billion years of our existence, without drifting back into randomness, was nearly a mathematical impossibility.
Add to this the biological improbability that makes each member of our own species unique. Everyone is one in 3 billion at the moment, which describes the odds. Each of us is a self contained, free-standing individual, labeled by specific protein configurations at the surfaces of cells, identifiable by whorls of fingertip skin, maybe even by special medleys of fragrance. You’d think we’d never stop dancing.
Miracles of Each Moment, 2014
Kabuki Tanahashi @ brushmind.net – Zen Circles. He was born and trained in Japan and active in the United States since 1977, has had solo exhibitions of his calligraphic paintings internationally. He has taught East Asian calligraphy at eight international conferences of calligraphy and lettering arts. Also a peace and environmental worker for decades, he is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. See more of his Zen Circles here.
Source: Precious Things
A paragraph from Lucas’ first chapter, “The Value of Style,” will suffice to render his point of view, with its fine sense of perspective and proportion, plain: It is unlikely that many of us will be famous, or even remembered. But not less important than the brilliant few that lead a nation or a literature to fresh achievements, are the unknown many whose patient efforts keep the world from running backward; who guard and maintain the ancient values, even if they do not conquer new; whose inconspicuous triumph it is to pass on what they inherited from their fathers, unimpaired and undiminished, to their sons. Enough, for almost all of us, if we can hand on the torch, and not let it down; content to win the affection, if it may be, of a few who know us and to be forgotten when they in their turn have vanished. The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its “stars.”
~ Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays
Photo: Lachlan von Nubia
It’s not any day.
But every day, that I’m walking cross-town to the office.
I call him up.
Or better stated, he gets called up.
Why this thought among billions of others, I don’t know.
But it flutters in on its wings, lands and settles.
A 20-second moment in life that never returns.
But returns each time I walk on this patch of earth.
It was February.
A warm day, but a winter day.
He’s lying on the concrete sidewalk on 48th street.
Not against the store front.
Or over a grate spilling steam from the guts of the underground tunnels.
He’s more centered between the street and the hulking skyscraper.
Early morning commuters avert their gaze, and step far left or right.
He’s covered from head to toe in a soiled sleeping bag.
He’s sleeping on a thin sheet of cardboard. [Read more…]
And she held the knife.
“I HATE AMERICA.”
Yes, in CAPS.
5:30 am. July 4th, 2015.
The Wolf Pack was settled in the car and heading down I-95 S.
Six lanes, devoid of traffic.
Eerie. A post-apocalyptic moment on I-95. Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.” Gray skies, light rain spitting on windshield. No Ash.
I HATE AMERICA.
“She” is Anonymous on the inter-tunnel. She repeats IT over and over, in Caps, a vitriolic cadence wrapped around each of America’s stated ills.
We’re two miles in at Mianus River Park.The terrain is hilly. I’m a roller coaster, with slow climbs up, and gravity pushing faster and faster downward. No. You are a Burro. A Burro carrying an oversized load with its belly dragging. You strain with each step. Your breathlessness, is a suffering inhale-exhale far less refined than the hee-haw of the Burro. Sad eyes drooping, staring down at hooves tiptoeing around rocks, roots and ruts.
I HATE AMERICA.
I read the post on Friday. The words still fresh, blood spilled. Words coming from an American, mid-20s. A Woman. [Read more…]
It’s Tuesday. 6 am.
The Metro-North train arrives at Grand Central.
I’m walking across town.
Today. It’s back.
The energy geyser bursting from the Center.
The Possibilities? Endless.
Hope? Springs eternal.
Mystery source? Soul. Powered. Soulerpowered.*
The cauldron bubbles.
The witches’ brew stews.
Lethargy. Worry. Anxiety. Fatigue. Doubt.
Fully Present, in a Civil War of One.
It? It’s just not there.
William James had a bead on it. The Human energizing. The sum-total of activities. Some outer. Some inner. Some muscular. Some emotional. Some moral. Some spiritual. The waxing and waning in himself he is at times so well aware. How to keep it an appreciable maximum? How not to let the level lapse? That is the great problem.
I feel this lapsing.
Mr. Miyagi’s Wax On, Wax off. [Read more…]