“Oh, wow!! Look at that!” And, once again, I’m stunned. My heart agape, my breath stopped.
For on the ground, at our feet, lies a long trail of fish vertebrae. Near a meter long. Muddy. And, we are clueless from whence they came. When we walked here last night, on our way home from the beach, this archaeology of Being was not here. And for once, I don’t have my camera on me. But, my Glen does.
Out comes his iPhone, and he hands it to me wordlessly as I crouch on the ground, trying to get the best angle, the right light falling on these bones; a prayer. We speculate together; how did it get here? How long was this creature! What type of fish was this? Which end is the head end, (the head is missing)? The anatomist in me tries to piece the clues together; pectoral fins, narrow tapering of the place that in a human would be the lumbar fanning to the sacrum. But I am not a comparative anatomist. And, besides, this isn't an exercise of osseous identification. What it is, is an encounter of the heart. Of awe. Of wonder. What does strike me is the diameter of the spinal canal, and the bony prominences that echo my own. And I am struck, once again, at the Oneness of us all.
We run around this planet, believing that because of our distinct physicalities, we are separate. That we are complete. Isolated. Safe. And I could add here, controlled.
But here is the truth.
We are none of us separate.
We are Whole.
We are, as Hiro Boga says, “part of the greater ecology”.
All around me is evidence of this. Profound evidence, that brings me to my knees again and again. It is everywhere I look, and it forms the nexus of every image I make. Everything is a Hymn to unity. And each time I see it, I am compelled to make an image. As much as my breath catches and my heart gapes, and my whole Being is riveted, I have to make an image of what I see. It is part of the way that I ground this experience in my body and in my psyche. “Capturing” it, so as to “make it real”. And witness-able to Others. Like a shaman.
Bringing it Home.
Beach Rock, or aerial image of an arid desert landscape, or aging skin.
Or, an electron microscopy image of our inner terrain.
Rocks; bones of the earth.
Old palm surface, or chipped fingernails, or reptilian scale-plating.
Parallel lives, lived on a fig tree.
What do you see?