The Bones of Birds

There is no ground, said Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, that is the good news. The bad news is that we are falling, falling, never to land. As if in a dream.

Is it a dream? ¿Quien sabe? (“Who knows?” and also, “Who cares?”)

I just finished reading Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility, with its loopy timeframes and its suggestion that reality is something other than what we’ve been led to believe. Which is likely true, regardless of what we believe, or what that “something other” might be. (¿Quien sabe?)

Raise your hand if you’re (still) waiting for things to get back to normal. Heh.

The wheel is turning. The wheel has already turned. The wheel has never stopped turning.

Imagine you are a red colobus monkey. Imagine you are a passenger pigeon. A North American bison. Imagine you are Sephora toromiro, the flowering tree that once filled Easter Island. The means by which you sustain yourself — the mycorrhizae of relationship and symbiosis — are disappearing, have disappeared. The turning is beyond your control.

But look: the garden needs weeding. The cat wants to play. This week I’ve had to tear up my bathroom floor to replace 70-year-old drains. The daily-ness is the tether, the ongoing, ever-present neediness of now.

Truth: the future has always been a burden. And every best-of-plans has a never-saw-it-coming.

Bones become porous in the absence of gravity. Density is lost. Hollowed out, like the bones of birds, so perhaps we might one day fly.

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