Start Counting

You build and maintain your body
      with oranges from Spain,
            wild rice from Minnesota
                  fish from the South China Sea
                        and the water that rises in your eyes
                              at sheer joy
                                    once fell as rain over Chennai
                                          but more recently flowed
                                                in pipes distilled
                                                      from the liquid remnant of
                                                            life from the Texas of the
                                                                  Permian
How small is your life—
      can you say again?—
As you count, at the sensation of Orion on your retinas,
      Betelgeuse, Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka, Rigel,
Your provisioning for begetting
      timed to your planet's moon,
            the iron in your blood
                  born of one sun
                        or another?

The next time you feel ready to rise in rage
      at believing
            that another dares see or dares not see
                  the same or unacceptably other than you
Close your eyes
Or open your eyes
And start counting
      the hands that reach through your hands
            the hearts that beat in your heart
                  the lives carried in and furthered by your life

Only deep in the fantasy of Separateness
      is there Possession and Possessedness
Only deep in the fantasy of Separateness
      are you Alone.
Which shall it be? As you move one hand from
      cold water tap to hot water tap
            and back again,
                  your understanding of Mind reveals,
                        as you touch the hot,
                              the reality not only of
                                    every life implicit in
                                          provisioning, as with the cold,
                                                faucet, pipe, basin, water,
                                                      and drainage
But now every life, human and consumed by human and aiding human, implicit
      in the provisioning, control, and fueling
Of heat.

Only deep in the fantasy of Separateness
      is there Possessing and Possessedness
Only deep in the fantasy of Separateness
      are you Alone.

At the edge of the sea
      Being is unbroken
            to and beyond
                  the far shore.
At the surface of the earth
      Being is unbroken
            to and beyond
                  the seething photosphere
                        of every star.
To the tip of your finger
      What Is is flesh, blood, and bone;
            from there to sky, air;
                  from air to star,
                        thinning of one
                              melding to thickening
                                    of another,
                                          gravity and electromagnetism through all—
Never
Nothing
Anywhere
Ever.

All of it Being.
All of it What Is.
Only through your perceptual decoupling of Being
      into virtual fragments by serial thought
Only in your fantasy of Separateness
Are you unsought, unseeking;
      unaffected, unaffecting;
            uncaused, uncausing;
Only in your fantasy of Separateness
Are you Alone.


Copyright © 2005 by David Newkirk. All rights reserved.
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