Friday, October 29, 2010
the secrets of the universe...
i know why babies sleep so much. it's because they know the secrets of the universe. all this knowledge we spend our whole lives forgetting, only to be reintroduced to them again when we enter the hereafter.
last night in bed, with the little chicken boo sleeping peacefully in the bassinet beside me, and the dotytron doing his night time reading, i had one of those moments where i'm suddenly made aware of my own mortality. that i will die some day. isn't it weird that you can live each day and forget the gaping, yawning, awful totality of that immutable truth? i call those moments having a "mortality thought" and because i'm a godless infidel and because i'm a lucky button and because i'm so grateful for all that i have - the thought of those end moments, of the great nothingness or unknowable-ness of what lies beyond, fills me with fear and sadness. i wonder what it's like to be faced with the knowledge of your own mortality - to stare it in the face. you hear about people who can meet it with grace and i wonder how that's possible? how do you make peace with leaving everything you know behind?
i always cry a bit. cry at the certainty, the inescapable nature of the final act, the one thing other than being born that we all share in common. for some reason, the dotytron doesn't get as perturbed as i do about it. i think it's because he's more open to the secrets of the universe, the magic of the cosmos, his unshakable faith in the great spirit in the sky/energy/lifeforce and all the rest of that stuff that i usually dismiss as juju mumbo jumbo.
the dotytron always tells me that this cycle of being born and dying is important and necessary. that we wouldn't appreciate anything if our lives weren't finite. that nothing we have would be as precious if we could live forever. and intellectually, i know it...i just can't believe it with all my heart. i'm too tied to the material world, i think.
but then, i'll watch the little chicken boo and i come a little closer to being able to give myself to the magic and mystery of the one big question. this little being started as energy - the endless division of cells produced this little guy, and he'll end his life as energy and what's more magical than that? what speaks to the beauty of creation more than that? how can you doubt the big bang when we produce big bangs each time we bring another life into this world?
i listen to his soft snuffly breathing when he's deep in sleep and i see his eyelids flutter and his little gassy mouth twitches and i feel in my bones that he's reflecting on the secrets that he was born with - the secrets of the universe, of epistemology, of ontology, of morality, ethics, and every big issue we grapple with and mess up through the course of our lives. i see billion of years of exploding stars and black holes and the deep dark nothingness before it all began in the whorls of his little perfect ear, in his little rosebud mouth, the long fingers that grip mine with an intensity and strength that belies his bandy, scrawny arms and legs, and the dark swirls of downy, tufty hair on his head. it's easier to be okay with our limited time on this earth when you see what we're capable of and what we're returning to. when i watch the little star eyes while he's sleeping and dreaming, it's easier to reconcile myself with the great beyond - to know that i'm going to be privy to the secrets of the universe again and get full access to an understanding that is only hinted at in my baby's sleeping wonder.
the universe is pretty smart stuff, guys.
back to the material, mundane world. tonight we had rosemary beef stew for dinner. with a roasted garlic mash that i threw some jersualem artichokes into. more of those cherry oatmeal walnut cookies for dessert.