The Whisper and the Echo

Here is an offering that comes from Nic Askew, an extraordinary filmmaker, poet, philosopher and observer of life.  It struck a chord with me, especially Nic’s reference to our yearning for something already here.

A man looked for meaning. For his very place in life. He searched high and low. He’d often hear a whisper, calling his name from the other side of what seemed like a door. A door that remained hidden from his ability to see. Frustrated, he’d knock on everything that resembled a door. Turning here, and there. Turning just about anywhere. Then one day, unannounced, it opened. And he realised that he’d been knocking from the inside. And that the whisper had been an echo. The echo of his own soul reminding him that he was already home.

I have opened just such a door, a door to a much expanded sense of my place in the larger scheme of things, and I do mean larger, as in the cosmos…  I have been hearing a whisper over the past few months, or maybe it’s been years, from a place that is much bigger than I have ever imagined, far beyond our little blue dot of a world, even beyond our milky way galaxy, one of about 200 billion in our little universe, which scientists believe is only one of many. Suddenly, I am beginning to feel at home in this expansive space, hearing the echo of life connecting me to the vast unknown.  That’s the macroscopic view. How amazing!  And the microscopic is essentially the inside of that outside – as the song says, “We are a miracle made up of particles.”  When I look within, this same view greets me in miniature as billions of particles and atoms and cells, acting in harmony in the universe of my body.

The same is true of the expanded door of time.  I have been focused on ancestors lately too, dating back far beyond memory.  I was asked recently to choose an ancestral time period, where the top of the page was ‘Now’; at the bottom of the page I wrote ‘The Big Bang’.  This seemed about the right space of time to be inclusive of the evolution of our humanity from where we began, our original home.  We carry those ancestors with us, mineral and vegetable as well as animal.  After all, the trees and rocks have ancestors too.  Sitting at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with an anthropologist several years ago, he pointed to a narrow band of black schist. “That is the first Grand Canyon.”  And who knows how many other Grand Canyons there have been, or how many other big bangs for that matter.

Wow!  I have to start including much more of what is already here, much more of who and where I am, my ancestry in time and space.  It both gives me a sense of my smallness in the big picture and also creates an urgency to protect this extraordinary experiment in life that I am and we are.  Welcome to this home!

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