Shhhh

We are out listening to the heartbeat of paradise this morning.


When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see you’re related to everything else alive on this finite planet? Do you see that you are essentially solar powered? Do you see how you exist because of the waste product of plants? Do you see the chimera, the multi-animal that makes you up, for each of our cells has in it mitochondria, which 3 billion or so years ago were separate life forms that teamed up with nucleated cells to make life more complicated, cooperative, and no doubt better able to survive down the generations? Do you see how you are a host, for yeasts, viruses, bacteria, fungi, even mites? Do you see how the bacteria in your gut, another life form entirely, works with us so that we can live?

And do see the end, wherein the elements you’re composed of join the flow of energy and life, breaking down, spreading out, being reincorporated again?

I know. It’s hard to see these things. We know better, but we still live life under the primitive fantasies of the past. We think nature is red in tooth and claw, that we are separate from and superior to it; that only the fittest survive, that capitalism is what God intended, competition the only game in town. This is so much 19th century bullshit invented by elites to explain their brutality, combined with medieval idiocy, a soupcon of that sun-baked egocentrism called monotheism, and plenty of ancient fear.

Paradise: from the ancient Persian for a walled place. The wall, we now know, is the thin envelope of life on earth. How some — too many! — throw themselves suicidally against this barrier! Don’t you be so damned full of folly.

May you find a revolutionary dose of empathy, compassion, and humility on this May Day.

4 Responses to “Shhhh”


  1. 1 Kevin Dann May 1, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Hello Matt,

    Now that I have just read the last half dozen of your blog entries, I am doubly grateful for this morning’s silent walk. Not only do you have a deep reservoir of knowledge, you speak like a poet. To have so much to say, and yet to honor silence so faithfully, was a great gift to all of us. Hallelujah & Amen to honoring both silence & the word on this May Day. Thanks again for a deeply moving morning.

    Best wishes,
    Kevin

  2. 2 Kevin Dann May 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

    PS Since this is my first spring in Brooklyn, everything is a surprise, but the big floral surprise on this morning’s walk was perfoliate bellwort, growing right along the asphalt path after we passed that little man-made waterfall. Then again, it was probably just some Asian impostor look-alike . . .

    • 3 mthew May 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Thanks, Kevin. Glad you enjoyed the listening. That probably was a bellwort. There are many invasives in the park, but recently years has seen a concerted effort to plant native species, and in some cases, like with the norway maples, to remove the invasives. There is a native plant garden operated by the parks department on Staten island.

  3. 4 suzi smith May 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Love this post Matthew!! From the 1st to last word, every one is a gem.


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