This I Believe

Arthur - Lowman, New York
Entered on November 2, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Our Current Crisis: The Opportunity…

New, fresh meaning emerges these days and nights of global crisis– I’m certain of it. In the dark of night I’m awakened by it. Increasingly, I’ve growin alive to it – alive to an eerie, hallowing sense that music is playing just beyond my ken. And it’s a music who’s meaning I trust we humans are meant to hear…

Tonight this meaning came to mind in an image: a satellite’s eye-view of the earth stretched out below; colorful tapestry of cloud, sea and land rotating silently, enormous. The crisp outline of the earth’s curvature hovered as an event-horizon set dramatically against the impenetrable darkness of deep space. From just beyond view, the colossal earth’s slow rotation brought shadows of night into the light of day. It was so compelling, mesmerizing…

A complex convergence is unfolding below, I picture. In a moment of the most profound earthly change, the atmosphere, the biosphere and the no”sphere (realm of human thought – the energy and activity of human thinking) are intersecting and interacting with each other.

The atmosphere of earth is heating up: the thinnest layer above the surface of the rotating colossus is changing rapidly. The biosphere of earth is dwindling: the current Holocene Extinction Event foreshadows an extinction rate (50% of mammalian life within 100 years) without precedent (in the past 540 million years there have been five major events when over 50% of animal species died – but none anything close to a 100 year timeframe). The no”sphere of earth is on alert: the whole of modern humanity has focused on the profound issues of credit and trust all at once, on a global scale, and as if on celestial cue.

All of this transpires on the rotating orb here below, where wisps of clouds comingle with the wings of migrating birds, rising within rhythms of ever-changing tides. The convergence’s meaning is so much more than any one sphere can reveal. I believe it’s the all of spheres together, a making of music both poetic and creative.

Here’s what I hear in it: to those who say we must resume our breakneck pace of borrow and spend, command and consume, rush and then rush some more – I hear a lament. To those who say we try pausing and musing, reflecting and repairing, scaling back and rising up to take a seat together on the bus (spaceship earth) and savor the ride – I hear joy. I hear us enjoying what we do best face-to-face: visiting and making friends; working and playing; feasting and fasting; singing and dancing. Anything more would be overkill.

For alas, the music of the current convergence may be musical chairs after all, and the invitation we’re invited to hear is counterintuitive. Instead of anxiously racing to occupy vanishing chairs, we’re encouraged by fresh, new meaning to bask in the dance, to sing a new song, and when we take a seat – to make room for earth herself.

For without her, what’s to celebrate?