Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ode to Emergent Properties

Let us talk about life.
There will be plenty of time
The other side of the event horizon
To discuss the implications of crossing
That border.
How can we live knowing we will die?
Try asking a rock, a boulder, a mountain
How the other possibility feels.
It takes us so long, chasing after answers to the
Wrong questions, to finally formulate
Right ones. We then have little time
Left to contemplate the wording.
We are lizards so long, sunning ourselves to get
Our body temperature up. Then squirrels, running and
Chattering and fighting to store the most acorns. Then
Building and worshipping and caressing the past, or
Illusions, or Beauty.
Beauty is an emergent property. An unanswerable one.
The peculiarly delicate antennae needed to perceive it--
Also an emergent property.
We do not yet know what else will emerge
From the sum total of all our emergent properties.
But think exponential, not linear.
We know how to do so many things that we choose
Not to do.
It is so easy to love
This life.
It is so hard to spurn
Each other. So costly to punish others for not doing
What you are not doing either.
Listen. Witness. Share the story, which spreads the pain so thin that it can
Break, like a film of ice over a muddy puddle.
Listen again.

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