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To Be Witnesses

“We’re only here for a short while. And I think it’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention. In some ways, this is getting far afield. I mean, we are — as far as we know — the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious. We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness. We might have come along so that the universe could look at itself. I don’t know that, but we’re made of the same stuff that stars are made of, or that floats around in space. But we’re combined in such a way that we can describe what it’s like to be alive, to be witnesses. Most of our experience is that of being a witness. We see and hear and smell other things. I think being alive is responding.” — Mark Strand

We are stardust, billion year old carbon, as Joni Mitchell put it. To be made up of the same stuff as the universe but with consciousness is a miracle, really. We ought to celebrate that miracle with each breath. More likely, we might at least wake up in the morning embracing the gift when we’ve been granted another day.

There haven’t been as many mountain peaks or waterfalls in the blog this year, and I plan to remedy that in the near future. Our lives are as big or as small as we make them. Blessed with good health and a sound mind, we ought to make the most of the opportunity. This blog was never meant to be solely about what I’ve read recently. It was derived from a bias towards action and the desire to see as much of this world as possible while here. Stasis should never be the goal in a life so very brief, let alone for a blog designed to convey highlights of the journey.

This is our time to experience and bear witness to what we encounter. More, we should be active participants in living a full life, for this billion year old carbon we each walk around in will someday return to the universe. It ought to have a few stories to tell.

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