Reverie at Antelope Ruins, Canyon De Chelly*

by Robert Magrisso, MD

Sitting on the rock mantle, moon up ahead, vast canyon below, bottom layer 250 million years old:

We are little bursts of life in the well of space-time formed by our pebble in the cosmos and our nuclear furnace-star/sun.

Human history is the history of small mammals with extraordinary potential.

Is there a Divine Hand in all of this?
It is hard to imagine a "yes,"
But even harder to imagine a "no."

I don't know.

My kilogram or so of neural circuitry cannot take it in. Combining the neural networks of the billions of humans who have lived and are still alive is still only a drop in the cosmic bucket. Dehydrate the brains, remove all the water and how much does the combined brain of the all-time human race weigh in total? Remove the space between the atoms, only count the space of all the nuclei… you get the point.

We are here in this vast unknown universe,
Grasping at an understandable cosmology and yet…

Doesn't the more sophisticated understanding just continually lead to more questions?
Don't we seem ever smaller, ever more ignorant?

Ah, but that burst of energy called life: isn't it incredible in itself!
All its forms, its ingenuity.
A toast to survivorship: to all those life forms who have been our ancestors,
who combined their cellular forms to form… us.

Silence. Words are too paltry to even talk about it.

Silence is the process toward God—it is the process of apprehension.

This is what the noisy one knows.

* Canyon de Chelly, in the Navajo reservation in Arizona, is a holy place to the Navajo, and it felt that way to me too when I visited it. There are a number of ruins in the Canyon, which date from the period of the Anasazi, a tribe that disappeared about 1000 AD. The White House Ruins are the most well known of the Anasazi settlements in the Canyon; the Antelope Ruins are smaller and more remote.