There are long arcs of evolution, the rise and fall of empires and species, the birthing and dying of stars.
We cannot know the larger cycles.
Our bravery will not save this world.
We cannot save this world.
Nonetheless, we must –– it is imperative–– find our way in this world. We must find a way ––our way–– to contribute. To do less than this is to court devolution or despair.
Bravery just might help us save each other. One day at a time.
In my theology, there is multiplicity.
In my theology, there is wholeness.
In my theology, there is individuation.
In my theology, there is connection.
Think of your body.
Your body –– along with emotions, thoughts, and some unexplainable essence –– is part of what constitutes you, or what you may call “I”. Plus, this beautiful, lung expanding, heart pumping, skin tingling entity of the body is made up of many, many parts.
Some of those parts are cells. Each cell has a center, and a boundary. Each cell has a job to do. Each cell exists within you, communicating with other cells, not necessarily conscious of the whole of you, but doing its job anyway.
That’s each of us, in this cosmos. We each have a center and a boundary (though some of us may need to work on strengthening both). We communicate with one another. We try to do our job, even not knowing what the larger connections may be.
In my theology, it is important to recognize that the connections are there. Because to do otherwise? That may cause us to feel we are not important…or too important.
We are vital to the running of the cosmos, because we each have our own special role to take on, our work to do. And yet, we are simply one of many, all doing our work. Special. Not special. We have our own center, yet we are not central to the whole.
We must live in concert with everything else in the cosmos, to the best of our abilities.
We must find ways to work, no matter how difficult or useless, exhilarating or precious, that may feel.
And part of that work is, of course, engaging the full gamut of what it means to be human. Rest. Enjoyment. Friends. Service. Pleasure. Puzzling. Pondering. Waking up. Engaging our physical forms.
Expanding our capacity to be human.
Exercising our capacity to care. To bear witness. To love.
So even though our individual bravery will not save this world? Be brave.
Be as brave as you can, whatever that means today. Show up for your life, your work, in whatever ways you can. Some days? That means you show up to a warm blanket. Some days? That means you throw your whole self into your task.
Only you know what your work is, just like each cell inside your body.
Keep doing that work. It is a miraculous thing.
This is reader funded writing. I thank all of my Patreon supporters for making it possible for me to provide one free essay and short story every month. Most of this writing would not exist without these people. They all rock.
Want to join my Patreon crew? You get advance copies of essays and stories before they hit the web, plus a chance for free books once or so a year.
One thousand blessings to supporters Constance, Leanne, Maria, Ambar, Lisa, Kathy, John, Ada, Heather, Tadhg, Michael, Mat, Gary, Valerie, Lira, Kay and Sandi, Charlie, Nessa, Kirsten, Sophia, Leigh, Joanna, Constance, Amerwitch, Elizabeth, Michael, Alex, John, Rebecca, Steve, Sea, Samantha, Irisanya, Autumn Lily, Lorelei, Wendy, Hollis, Sister Krissy, Vanessa, Maddy, Carlin, Anon, Bear, Doneby, Dayle, Devotaj, Will, Brooks, Law Nerd, Michelle, Gwynne, Mark, Merri Ann, Meagan, Veronica, Shira, Allyson, Jocelyne, Michael, Dawn, Joanna, Lia, Rachel, Kiya, Corinne, Evodjie, Angela, Zann, Daniel, Luna, Christopher, Sarah, Amerwitch, Tamara, Elizabeth, J. Anthony, Sea Serpent, Jen, David, Emilie, Jennifer, Elliot, Ellen, a phoenix, Jersey Meg, Tony, Sean, Sherry, Christopher, Stephanie, Lira, Ariana, Tamara, Karen, Morgaine, Sarah, Rachel, Jenny, Joanna, R.M., Ember, San, Miriam, Leslie, Sharon, Mary Anne, Joanna, Tony, Angela, Constance, Stone, Omorka, Unwoman, Shemandoah, Sarah, Rain, Cid, Alley, Mica, Christine, Vyviane, Katie, Emilie, Louise, Victoria, Greg, Ealasaid, Jennifer, Louise, Rose, Starr, Sinead, Lyssa, Aeptha, Cara, Crystal, Angela, Misha, Eridanus, Cheryl, Lori, Soli, Peter, Angela, Ambariel, Sonia, Jennifer, Ruth, Miranda, Jeremy, Jonah, Michelle, Jenny, Jen, Mir, Ruth, Emilie, Jonathan, Kate, Roger and Nancy.