Reflection on Chet Raymo, “Borne on a sea of vital dust,”
The Boston Globe, June 9, 1997:
You — Creator of the cosmic imperative
toward chemical complexity,
biological bounty, and
You — Poet of the litany of life,
delighting in life’s diversity,
restoring life’s resiliency,
protecting life’s potential
abundant animation of atoms;
You made me host to millions of gut bacteria and airborne microbes!
When the storms come, is anything lost? Is it not all restored again to the One – the Oneness of creation, creativity? Who am I as an individual in the stream of the cosmic imperative? I am the host to millions of gut bacteria! Is this why I exist? Not my only reason for being, but reason enough to keep me humble in the vastness of creation.
Maybe we are not the only biological species with whom God enjoys intimacy! But we seem to be the only species that has forgotten who we are as God’s creatures, the only species that has tried to usurp God’s place, position, power, possibilities, and work, — and thus the only species needing redemption.
Did you ever see an elephant try to be God?
Or a dog try to be a man and usurp the role of a human?
Does a bird try to be a rabbit?
Or a whale a horse?
Yet we try to be God.
According to astronomers, every atom in my body was forged in a star. I am made, they insist, of stardust. I am stardust braided into strands and streamers of information, proteins and DNA, double helixes of stardust. In every cell of my body there is a thread of stardust as long as my arm.
― Chet Raymo, The Dork of Cork