Monday Morning: Don’t You Dare


At 19, I read a sentence that re-terraformed my head: “The level of matter in the universe has been constant since the Big Bang.”  In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing – not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.  Each baby, then, 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.

Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.

—    Caitlin Moran

Notes: Photo: Patty Maher (via My Modern Met). Quote: Hidden Shores


  1. Great

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhhhh, molecules of Napolean and breath of Cleopatra, all whirling about in a glorious array, randomly reconfigured to make the next Picasso or Stephen Hawking or Maya Angelou or…. What a wonderful concept, pal! Just love this….

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “They will never be able to make you again.” Thank God for that! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A deep and thoughtful analysis which expands my exuberance to live life fully. Loving life. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow – I’d better take today a bit more seriously. 👀
    Nice writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A poignant reminder, we are unique, but all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My English teacher had a similar point – every plot and and every idea has been thought of, it is only the in the retelling that we see the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. damn straight.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was working with Wayne Goldstein, Orthopedic Surgeon, founder of the IBJI, God of artificial joint replacement.

    We never talk anything other than work related. He caught me reading this and immediately asked “what is that look on your face?”
    By the time I finished reading this whole post to him, I saw a tear rolling down his cheek.
    First time he ever sits down to talk about anything. Not only that, by the time I was reading towards the end, I noticed he leaned back.

    Then he jumped up and said “that same thing goes through my mind everytime I saw through my petients bones. Back to work kid”

    On a lighter note, I hope I don’t have any Napoleon in me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A terrific commentary on the uniqueness and significance of life. And when love is thrown into the mix, there is no need to wonder if something else or better will come along. Because love sustains life.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Christie says:

    The honor of being alive, I am grateful.
    “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed” …Genesis 2:7
    “By the sweat of your face
    You will eat bread,
    Till you return to the ground,
    Because from it you were taken;
    For you are dust,
    And to dust you shall return.
    Genesis 3:19New American Standard Bible”
    Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. (I need to ask. Did you share this from memory?)


      • Christie says:

        I am familiar with the verses, yes and No, I had to cut and paste after entering dust to dust. I also thought of turned to stone and pillar of salt.// “we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing” so the vastness of the universe is like a teeter totter of balance, full of connection, energy, effervescent and the creativity of the inhabitants expands, wars are fought, life is full of much unnecessary drama and I wonder when one losses weight where does it go, lol..I know it is burned up, efficiently. I keep thinking about the grand scale of the universe and the uniqueness, multiplying growth that happens in body and mind of each individual. We are to go forth and multiple…we are to prosper from our investments in time and money…I think of how tiny cells that divide and coexist, creating…in the womb and I think of “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” Psalm 139:13-14 NIV There is nothing like watching a baby…new sweet life full of potential…growing discovering… It is all a Miracle! I am in Awe of the Wonder, before my eyes…such a gift and I believe the Lord God made it all…

        Liked by 1 person

  12. “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Precious reminder! Amen to life.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love. All unique & unrepeatable.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I was really grooving on this until the last two sentences. The “something better” will be the next recombination, the uptake of my matter into the next form or burst of energy. The honor is in the lineage.

    Liked by 1 person

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