By    Jun. 30, 2015

“never forget” by Tucker Nichols.  Copyright (c) 2015 by the artist.  

By Pat Patterson

AWAKENING

Sometimes
isolated in our brain
imprisoned in our mind
alienated
in our own self-consciousness
we forget that we are
made up of an incalculable
number of cells
and trillions of bacteria
We lose track of the fact
that we are shaped
by invisible forces
that we are colonized
in order to exist

We pay little attention
to fellow creatures
sharing this planet
burgeoning populations
beings of incredible variety
We do not remember
our common origin
and singular ancestry
We live as if we are an island
as if we are sole inhabitant
as if the evolution of life
ended in us
and bestowed on us and our kind
domination of all the miracle
life that dwells
in and around us

When we wake up
when we join
the rest of creation
we are overwhelmed with wonder
we are filled with
insatiable curiosity
We are driven to our knees
over and over again
in face of teeming life
its variety and beauty
its uncountable awe-inspiring
minute and mammoth forms
plants animals microbes
sharing our living space
This is the part
of the sacred
that we have not acknowledged
in our limited religion
in our egotistical spirituality
Now is time to repent
to become fellow creatures
with ant bee elephant deer
cedar sequoia spruce oak
mitochondria
To live in this world
as one among
the multitudinous many
To lose ourselves
in the fullness
that we are a part of
To gain ourselves in being
members of the family
one strand in this amazing web
this interrelated whole
this life-blessed earth

For SEIZING AN ALTERNATIVE, conference plenary, June 5, 2015