Now, I am not.

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What with the Coronavirus and all this isolation, it’s given us all a lot of time to think about things. Some positive, some not so much.

I’m not a religious person per se, in that, I don’t subscribe to any particular theism. I guess the closest I would come is Pantheism. Even then, I have my own theories about it. In fact, I wrote my own Creation myth to go with it! (I’ll post that at some point in the future.) Or will I? Because the future doesn’t exist. Or, does it? Is everything predetermined… whoa! You’ve got me off track.

Phew, that was close.

We could’ve been here for hours discussing that particular conundrum.

What I do think about a lot is death. Don’t go! I don’t mean that in a depressing way. More of a philosophical one. What happens when we die? Is there an afterlife? Does such a thing as reincarnation exist?

What’s that got to do with Covid-19?

Well, a lot of people have died from it. And nature seems to be thriving since we’ve isolated ourselves from huge swathes of it. So, what is the point of us? Is there one? Are human beings as insignificant as a dandelion? (Or, significant, if you’re a dandelion.)

I dunno. I don’t have the answers.

What I do know is that human beings are made of energy. We can’t live without it. That’s not my opinion, it’s a scientific fact. Another scientific fact is that energy can never be created nor destroyed. The atoms that created you and I came from the Big Bang. And they will not go anywhere, but back into the universe. That means, the atoms that make up you and I have been pottering about the universe for the past 13.8 billion years! God knows what mine have been up to. It can’t have been good.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the energy that keeps you and me alive maintains its sentience once it leaves our bodies. But it did make me think of a poem.

It’s one I wrote a while ago and came to mind because of what’s going on in the world. How quickly and easily life can be arbitarily snuffed out whilst other life thrives. Perhaps the question is not, does human life have purpose? But, doesn’t all life have purpose?

dynamic-protein-atlas-of-human-cell-division

Now, I am not.

By David Milligan-Croft

 

I am an electron.

I am an atom.

Now, I am not an atom.

I am a star.

I am a white dwarf.

I am primordial gloop.
Now, I am not.

Now, I am molten lava,
Coursing through the juvenile earth.

Now, I am not.

I am a rock.
Marble, to be specific.

From the cliffs of Massa and Carrara.

Now, I am not a rock.

I am an amoeba.
Now, I am two amoeba.

I am sky.

I am cerulean-blue sky.
I am cloud – I am rain – I am river.
I am
w
a
t
e
r
f
a
l
l,

I am ocean.

I am vapour.

I am a droplet of dew on a monkey puzzle tree.
Now, I am not a droplet of dew on a monkey puzzle tree.

I am a puzzled snow monkey in a hot thermal spring.

I am a tiger.

I – am – a – tiger.

Waiting.

Watching.

Padding.

Creeping, slowly through the long grass.

I see you with your spear.

I. Am. Tiger.

Now, I am not.

I am a slave.
Skin flaking from my red-raw back
Like cherry blossom petals.

Now, I am free.

I think I am a Greek.
Therefore, I am not a Greek.

I am a hoplite.
My dory has shivered,
My hoplon is buckling.
Now, I am not.

I am a foetus.
I hear my mother’s muffled weeping
From somewhere close by.
Now, I am not a foetus.

I am the darkness
That envelops you.

I am a judas.
All that have gone before
And all that will come.

Now, I am a magician.
Now, I am not a magician.
Ta-daaaah!

Now, I’m a daddy!
I cradle your delicate life in my trembling palms.

One day, I will be your father no more,

But, for now,

I am.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Now, I am not.

  1. I have been thinking about this same general topic and I always return to the same thing. I don’t know anything. So I guess I’ll wait for further instructions! I like the poem very much. To me it expresses why I am sure I don’t know anything. And why I feel ok, no , better, that it’s this way.

    • I know what you mean, Claudia. I don’t know either, but I have this innate sense that everything will be alright. But the actual concept of what ‘everything’ and ‘alright’ is, are a bit above my pay grade! 🙂 Which probably sounds a bit like faith.

      • Yes, I have felt the same thing, all my life, that somehow things will work out, just try to do my best and trust to fate? Providence? Destiny? Whatever it is. I agree, it is faith.

  2. Stephen Dixon

    Beautiful. Engaging. Wonderful. Frustrating. I’ve spent (wasted) at least 40 years trying to fathom infinity. Oceans of consciousness. String theory. Moments. Obvious fail. I wonder if it’s the early illness and death of my mother (I was nine), or 60s/70s Catholicism, or both?

    • Thank you Stephen, that’s very kind of you. I think death does make us ponder the afterlife. Make us question the reason for existence at all. I don’t think you’re wasting your time, it can lead to some fascinating theories. The frustration lies in the fact that that is all they’ll ever be until we experience death ourselves. Or someone comes back and tells us!

  3. Hi David. I too have been thinking about your post and poem and it has just come up again. It’s ‘Country Sunday’ here. My not so guilty pleasure is listening to country music whilst painting. Highwayman by The Highwayman has just been on and it links to your thoughts. I thought I’d tell you. Do you know it?
    Well that’s it, a bit tenuous, but I hope you are having a good Sunday. OA

    • Hi OA, no I haven’t heard of the song or the band. I’ll check them out. I’ve had a few people over on Facebook say that it’s made them ponder too. It’s always nice to hear that your work has had an affect on someone. Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

  4. Starting my day with this post…what a thinker! I was just thinking of that line from the Walt Whitman poem…’I am large, I contain multitudes’. Everything connects!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Danielle. I agree, everything connects. “Realise that everything connects to everything else.” Leonardo da Vinci. I think the older you get the more you question the reasons for existence.

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