Today’s topic is from Lesley Moorhouse who is a Shindig Alumni from Edinburgh… today we go a little Universal…
I am from stardust.
So are you, by the way, I’m not getting grandiose on you or anything. (see example here from the National Geographic ) The elements that make up our bodies – Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Calcium, Phosphorus – are shared with, and are likely to have originated from stars. I get strange comfort from this – the sense of being connected to something way way bigger than myself.. a wee spec in the Cosmos…. A kind of celestial puzzle piece.
If you ever want to feel small and humble or wonderfully huge and important – have a look at some of the research and writing that comes from astrophysics or molecular biology. I am in no-way well read on this stuff, but even beginning to look into it all, can start a sense of wonder in me (or terror, if you can’t quite cope with the existential nature of it all… have a go. See how you go). We are inner space, woven from outer space… I just love that.
So you/ we are truly remarkable – stellar, endless, vast, beautiful. You/we are also utterly unremarkable – part of an endless cycle of birth and death. The good news is (irrespective of what your religious beliefs are & I believe this part fits with whatever God you may or may not pursue) when you die your atoms reshuffle and get redistributed into other things – plants, animals, the Cosmos. (I’m not tackling the Soul question here or matters of Heaven etc.) The point being we truly are interconnected, intimately, with every living thing. We are inseparable from nature around us and intertwined with the Universe, our bodies are created thus. We share elemental building blocks with everything. Whether you believe that, like that, or whether that gives you the heebie-jeebies is yours to work with…. But it’s worth thinking about as you move through your working week.
Everyone you meet is remarkable and unique. Everyone is unremarkable and the same. And you are connected to them. At an elemental level, you are no different. I think that’s so cool.
That thinking might be helpful in these fragmented times. Emphasis not on philosophical difference, but physical and cellular similarities, emphasis on connection and our place on the planet… these things might be worth re-thinking and learning about. I listen to The Life Scientific on Radio 4 in the UK, often, and I’m struck by how spiritual or religious those in the Scientific fields can be.. how seeking empirical truths can still leave space for spiritual pursuits. I like that paradox.
So. I might be “from” Fife and other places I have lived. I might be “from” my family. I might be “from” my gender, ethnicity, education and “from” my physical and emotional experiences which have forged me …I am all of these things, and others…and, on a cellular, elemental level, I am from stardust.
So it’s fun to go a little stellar.. and it’s not an area I’m very knowledgeable about… and as I wrote it, I was thinking how I might be offending those with religion, or get caught up in arguments from science-deniers ( not that it’s written to shock or evoke anything other than thinking wider…).
I love these conversations and the thinking around all of it – It’s so much more satisfying ( and unsatisfying) than binary hate-filled guff that gets spouted. If you are going to think about the stardust in you, it pretty quickly moves to existence and God and nature and can we Believe Things We Can’t see…..can we hold some sense of ourselves in the face of things that are too big to make sense?
So on this one, I’m out of comfort zone and feeling like I need to do loads more research – but I’m thinking, at least.