Conundrum

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Seeing any creature
      is seeing the timeleading end
            the instant of ongoing Creation
                  of a single thread-process
                        of the braided torrent
                              of its collective creaturehood.

Working in concert through virtual individuation by means of Mind
      and the tools of Perception, Science, and Belief,
            the individual life-threads of humankind and its dependencies
                  extend, through mutual interparticipance,
                        the life, effect, and affect of the individual
                              beyond that possible
                                    without benefit of this collective boon.

This poses the conundrum
      that one nonetheless sees, in encountering contemporaneous nonhuman flora and fauna,
            Life that abides—
                  survives and has survived,
                        burgeons and has burgeoned—
                              across Entropic Time
Without the tools of medicine, technology,
      and scientific nutrition.

What is it, then, that we really are doing
      in lengthening the span of the individual
            and increasing the total number
                  of contemporaneous individuals
                        above that possible
                              without the prosthesis of global Participance
                                    of life in every other life?

What is the actual difference between human and nonhuman life?
What are the unperceived concomitants to, costs of, our gains in human contemporaneity,
      our deferral of discomfort, pain, and mortality,
            our empowerment of any individual anywhere in the world,
                  through the decoupling, genericization, and abstraction
                        provided by the mechanism of monetary currency,
                              to draw on lives, labor, and resources anywhere in the world
                                    at any time
                                          for any purpose
                                                at will?

The cross-section of our torrent through Entropic Time
      we increase,
But our stable channel
      is what?
And the flood plain across which we spill
      is what?
And the devastation, the channeled scablands,
      that such a vast torrent produces,
            that we must produce in flood,
Is—are—what?


Copyright © 2006 by David Newkirk (david.newkirk@gmail.com). All rights reserved.
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