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The Enigma We Answer by Living -- Alison Hawthorne Deming

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  • Barbara Bailey
    The Enigma We Answer by Living Einstein didn t speak as a child waiting till a sentence formed and emerged full-blown from his head. I do the thing, he later
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2008
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      The Enigma We Answer by Living
       
      Einstein didn't speak as a child
      waiting till a sentence formed and
      emerged full-blown from his head.
       
      I do the thing, he later wrote, which
      nature drives me to do. Does a fish
      know the water in which he swims?
       
      This came up in conversation
      with a man I met by chance,
      friend of a friend of a friend,
       
      who passed through town carrying
      three specimen boxes of insects
      he'd collected in the Grand Canyon—
       
      one for mosquitoes, one for honeybees,
      one for butterflies and skippers,
      each lined up in a row, pinned and labeled,
       
      tiny morphologic differences
      revealing how adaptation
      happened over time. The deeper down
       
      he hiked, the older the rock
      and the younger
      the strategy for living in that place.
       
      And in my dining room the universe
      found its way into this man
      bent on cataloguing each innovation,
       
      though he knows it will all disappear—
      the labels, the skippers, the canyon.
      We agreed then, the old friends and the new,
       
      that it's wrong to think people are a thing apart
      from the whole, as if we'd sprung
      from an idea out in space, rather than emerging
       
      from the sequenced larval mess of creation
      that binds us with the others,
      all playing the endgame of a beautiful planet
       
      that's made us want to name
      each thing and try to tell
      its story against the vanishing.
       
      ~ Alison Hawthorne Deming ~
       
      (Genius Loci)
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       



       
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