Everything we say is true, but it is not the whole truth. Unknown truths abound and present themselves on the regular, as is our knowledge dwarfed by our ignorance. Everything we say, then, can be seen as a lie of omission.
But as no one water molecule can be the ocean, the ocean can sustain a loss of many molecules and remain as such. But if it loses so many, it becomes a lake, then a puddle, then a drop. It can be said that the drop and the ocean are one, when the drop slides off the tail of a breaching whale before becoming the ocean again. So then is the ocean a collection of drops, and if so, how many? Is there a precise number after which the ocean must be named a sea, and how silly it would be to sit along the shore with a ladle, making an ocean of a sea and a sea of an ocean, with a puddle held between.
These lines may not make much sense to you, and that’s understandable. They are words. Language. Patterns of contrasting light and dark areas interpreted by a different area of the brain than the one which processes the noises made when air moves through a mucous lined cylinder with skin flaps in the throat of a particularly vocal primate. Prime. The first. The first to move by sound waves, propelling our craft and leaving behind a wake in earth’s watery crust. We are gravitational ripples in the space-time continuum. We are material interacting with gravitational echoes, bouncing off each other and interfering in regular patterns yet to be discovered, a living fabric (like cotton, the fabric of our lives) woven at a scale which transcends our capacity even for imagination, let alone observation and intervention, as the plot structure and themes of an average Netflix show (e.g. the layered humor of Deadwood) would be utterly indigestible by an audience of cyanobacteria. They translate sunlight into oxygen. We translate matter into meaning.
These are the tools we have. This is what we must use to craft the tools we need to make the next generation of life better. Bether. Be there. We are the voice of the earth, not children of god. Everything is god. We are god. You are god. I am god. In our own domains and in our own stories, we are gods, whose word becomes law. We write out our observations of ourselves and others as characters, as all gods are written out by humans who watched and knew other humans. Observed them, were impressed by them. Took their best moments to heart, and their worst under stern advisement. We followed them or spurned them, our toys and our tyrants alike. We tell their epic tales, their sacred stories which instruct or warn, inform or bamboozle, to anyone who will listen if only ourselves. We dance, gesture, make sounds in particular patterns, setting the rest of the cosmos as the background for the figure of humanity, as plot to character. We live only in context: a fish out of water is a modern human out of culture.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
It’s a simple story. A unique identifier between two dimensional coordinates over time. Humpty is as Humpty does, and so is accident prone, unmoving, maybe depressed. Or drunk. So, the moral is: don’t sit on a wall? Okay, but what do you mean by wall? That which divides inside from outside, here from there, good from bad, us from them, safe from harm. Understood. Now why not be neither here nor there? Why not risk an encounter with the chaos that lay just beyond the order of the whole wealth of the kingdom? Because all the king’s horses (technology, how we bend the earth to serve us) and all the king’s men (culture, how we bend each other), are insufficient to repair us from death.
Here we sit, on the wall between creation and creator. Every character we create bears our likeness, every Emma or Liu or Sergei or Anya bears the face of god, the creator. We are all these faces, overlapping as layers of paint in a pre-war apartment. We melt together in the impressions made by their passing, like many feet walking through the mud. We become to future humans as trampled earth, indistinguishable from far, but built up of feet whose number and position in space may be counted, if you were to imagine a motion tracker and the highest fidelity 4D scanning technology, it would render a perfect historical model of each hoof, the chronology of forces applied to a matrix of chemistry, it would not be a mess you see, but a masterpiece in the making.