Today I've been thinking a lot about the frailty of the human body, the way we age and degenerate from the inside out, like we've been living with a slow acting poison since the day we were born. The paces I've put my body through, the ways it has held me up, or back, and how mysteriously it will react in the coming months, years, decades.
In my early thirties I am still relatively young, but to look at myself in the mirror, to feel my bones as they are at rest, when I force myself to be more judicious with my intake, I sense the impending doom - especially as it sits in relationship to my body in the last decade, and the one before.
This internal landscape reminds me of the geological one around us, the earth beneath our feet, the canyons and mountains where we can read time like a book. The parallels between this strange rock and this strange sculpture of flesh and calcium point to how, and why, we are all connected.
It reminds me that we are in this struggle together, whether we are on this land or your land, in poverty and wealth, sickness, health, never apart until death. And, honestly, even then who knows. It reminds me to have compassion and empathy to those near and far, that no matter what superficial differences we throw around, at the end of the day my body deteriorates just like yours, that your lungs fill with water as you drown and so would mine. It provides a space for understanding that pushes to the core of me, and it is scary.
It is scary to recognize the power I have, that you have it too, and that we are all powerless in the face of this greater cloud. That the only true option any of us have is how we reckon with it - how we fight for a future despite the slow decay in our bellies. How any of us would cross the river knowing we may be swept away, finding ourselves face down in the mud on the other side, no longer here, no longer in my land or yours.
The worry that eats at my soul may be an alarm bell in your ears, it is a presence all the same. It is a worry that reminds me that my only duty here is to find a way to soothe your pain, and that by doing so I unburden myself as well. It is strange to realize that we are all connected through this soil, through the blood inside us, through the air we breathe, and water we drink, the sleep we all must endure and the scarcity we live through. The scarcity of resources, and of finitude. So what do you do with this knowledge, how do you embrace yourself by embracing another?