Monday, May 17, 2010

children imitating cormorants
are even more wonderful
than cormorants

by Bryson Nitta

Every animal that moves and plant that grows has found its way into this universe, just like us. And while we may be filled with doubt as to our purpose or our place, we cannot be skeptical of the fact that we are all here, together. Our ancestors, from our parents and grandparents all the way to the first organism to pass on its DNA, struggled to survive, and those struggles are imprinted and manifest in our being now. We, too, struggling against and for all, are participants in the long march of time.

When we see, for instance, a simple pigeon pecking in the streets, we shouldn’t see it merely as an individual bird among millions of others; we should see the culmination of a material and biological history, the single product of countless others and their relationships. And it will eventually pass away, becoming another nameless contributor to a future present moment.

The fact of the matter is, when we try to see the world in all its complexity, when we try to see beyond our lives or histories or species, the world opens itself up. Animals and plants take on powerful meanings.

I wish we could experience this tremendous vision all the time. I wish that we could see with the eyes that God must use to see His Universe: eyes that see everything in its relationship to everything else, temporally and physically.

How much more likely would we be to love the things around us if we saw them in their wholeness? Their wholeness not just as individuals, but as the sum of relationships known and unknown? Would we then really want to destroy mountains, pollute oceans, kill off species, ravage forests, kill members of our own species?

Or would we seek to live respecting other beings in their fullness? Would we try, like children pretending to be cormorants, to love the Universe as much as God does?

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