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We've come a long way

Was it early last week that an asteroid larger than the biggest football colosseum known passed close by our cozy planet earth? Sets one to thinking…. And then I remembered these apt photos I’d taken on a walk not too long ago.

Now there isn’t much to be done over such an unlikely cosmic cataclysm as planet earth taking an interstellar fastball to the head—it’s out of our hands, so to speak, so no point troubling over it. Life is too short.

But that’s as good a segue into what I really want to aim at as any, so let’s get going here.

As I said, the above images have been with me for a while, accreting thoughts and fancies and quietly calling out for a post of their own. The asteroid’s advent served, –however, other themes—harder to pin down—have been clamoring for attention too.

Back when the dinosaurs ruled the world our unimaginably distant ancestors skulked and scurried through the trees and brush in the form of shrew sized animals. Perhaps it took an asteroid such as last week’s to tilt the game in our favor.

Whatever the cause, we’ve certainly made the best of it, as a species that is. We’ve come a long way…. But where might we be going?

In the last two posts I’ve had occasion to compare human societies to what might be imagined as ‘greater organisms’, each of us being an individual cell in such a being. And, similar to a human—or indeed any living creature—such a greater organism would possess ‘duration’, or a life span. Alongside a life span would be the idea of a birth, youth, maturity, old age, and death.

Let’s play a little imaginative game. What would it be like to be a single cell surrounded by millions of others in say a seven year old? Wouldn’t everything be about growth and multiplication and expansion? Every day would hold new possibilities, life would be rich and fecund and full of potential.

What about being that self same cell in a forty year old? And then again in an eighty year old? How would our outlooks change and if we could imagine the experience of community with the cells around us in each of those situations how would they change?

I suppose it’s just an analogy, this cells in a greater societal organism, but tell me, if you and I and everyone we know were cells in such a human individual, how old do you imagine that greater being to be? I’m curious, so write me at omphaloscafe@gmail.com or leave a comment.

I won’t hold back: myself, I’d put such a greater civic organism as we inhabit today in his or her sixties, possibly even seventies!

If that were the case, what sort of cell would you choose to be if you had the choice? A seventy year old’s body is beginning to experience all sorts of health related issues. Tissues and organs are clamoring after diminishing resources. There is much debate and recrimination, and much talk of ‘systemic’ problems, but here is where I’d label the problem more ‘soulstemic’ than ‘systemic.’ It is of the nature if Life.

Ok, this has gone on long enough.

What sort of cell would I choose? How about a spermatozoa? That’s what I’d be, ready to jump ship and just maybe be the seed of a new tomorrow.

‘Cause Life is too short.

And you know the rest….

Oh, and here’s a quote to put this one to bed:

“In times when disorder rules, the artist, because he is a man of order, approves the revolution.” –Elie Faure, The Dance Over Fire And Water