Some things, say the wise ones who know everything,
are not living. I say,
you live your life your way and leave me alone.
I have talked with the faint clouds in the sky when they
are afraid of being left behind: I have said, hurry, hurry!
and they have said: Thank you, we are hurrying.
About cows, and starfish, and roses, there is no
argument. They die, after all.
But water is a question, so many living things in it,
but what is it, itself, living or not? Oh, gleaming
generosity, how can they write you out?
As I think this I am sitting on the sand beside
the harbor. I am holding in my hand
small pieces of granite, pyrite, schist.
Each one, just now, so thoroughly asleep.
Just yesterday I spoke of Mary's animistic tendencies. Here she "outs" herself completely - clouds and rocks can hurry and be asleep. It seems that whenever people speak of life and interconnection the argument always comes down to rocks. Is a rock alive? This was one of the first disagreements I had with my current spouse who is a philosophical professor. We were speaking of rights and respect for nonhuman life and we argued over the defining line of life versus nonlife. I positioned myself that rocks have an essence that seems only to compel me slightly less towards care and respect than nonrock life. For me then they are "alive" and capture my heart and imagination, much like a stuffed animal or even a photo of a living being or habitat. I grant all this and more "life" because they are me and I am them. We are interconnected, and if I can hurry and sleep, it seems that they can as well. The divine is in each of us, for we together are the sacred, the whole, the holy.
Does being "alive" change how you treat an object? What is it that draws out your care, respect, compassion, and sense of interconnection?