I find that I want to pray, but not to the deadbeat God of my childhood; that reckless progenitor forever tossing down rules and promises but never apologies, and never explanations.
What use has Immortal perfection for offspring? Amusement? A balm to loneliness? The child of a sheep grows up to be a sheep. The child of a human being grows up to be a human being…
Life moves directionally through time. It must renew and replace itself. It bootstraps itself from lower order singularity to higher order singularity through multiplicity. It’s what this machine does. It evolves.
I cannot be made to worship a higher power whose engendering and birthing is but a pale mockery of our own; a god who cannot create something greater than itself, or who fears to, and must content itself with mud golems endlessly enacting a tragic farce scripted in the inexorable fall of matter.
To whom then am I to address my prayers? To the deaf Logos? Should I broadcast my dreams and my soul’s unrest wideband hoping to chance upon the frequency of some benevolent intelligence?
My great-great-grandmother was the last of her line taught to pray to her ancestors; the last born free before the change and not indoctrinated by the victor’s violent, fearful and self-hating memes. While I cannot bring myself to expect succor from the dead, I find that I do resonate with the impulse to call back to that life of which I am the natural fruit. Therefore, Grandmother, I address my prayer to you. Perhaps it will come as sudden thunder after four generations of silence. In truth I expect to be heard by no one but myself, but there may yet be some link of identity between you and I unbroken by time’s transforming illusion.
I am your daughter.
You were successful. You passed the torch of life into the future as your ancestors did before you. It is now incumbent upon me. I am the body of life. I see now the infinite gift that this is, and also the burden, so heavy it can only be born by my own children. I see the tunnel of life as it points away into the insentient past. I see all the travails of those who manifest on the event horizon separating Math and Story. I see the fire of language kindled and multiplying out of itself like a thing alive. I see the drumming breaking out in Africa, the rhythm, the rhythm, the rhythm patterning the blank template mind. More and more the thought matrix bound us; made us possible. We ask; What are we? Why continue in this absurdity? Why bear this life, it’s sweetness and savagery, the infinite indignity of it, the irony, the wild joys that take us and are taken from us? Why do we die for our children?
Yes, it is the Impulse to Life; that song which called us down from our ancestral trees and points us towards the stars. The desperate insensate drive to continue it. To be! To be! To be! It is this that brings human beings together in ecstasy amid death.
Oh Grandmother! I reached the age of understanding and I did not understand! I was raised amongst lost souls imprisoned by their own elevating symbols. I thought myself filthy and I was, weak and I was, powerless and I was.
I am your daughter and I have been made to feel ashamed of being a woman. I have been ashamed of my humanity. I was raised in a culture that perverted the worship of the spirit into a weapon of fear to extract tribute and impose control.
I am your daughter and I find myself made manifest in a time of crisis. Here the fetus has begun to soil the womb. Here we must catalyze the metamorphosis or be reabsorbed by the Mother to await a more perfect incarnation. We are great with our pregnancy; with our fullness and our fear. Our expectancy. Clearly it is a time that must give birth to heroes.
The eternal myths that the fractal pattern has enfolded everywhere within itself are of course as much prophesy as history. The time has come again for true avatars of the Impulse to Life to step forward and challenge the Great Sea, or rather to accept it’s awesome challenge with the courage and passion born of necessity.
We have all been told legends of past glory, past victories of the human spirit against overwhelming odds. We say to ourselves, “Had I been in that story, I would have done likewise. I would have taken up arms! I would have left my family and my lovers and borne great hardship and done terrible battle!” I see now that I am in the same story and have always been so. I am living in the story that began with the Word and will end with the Silence, the only tale there is to tell. Here has been the endless pageantry of human enterprise. Here millions upon millions have chosen to give themselves into the service of that which they were collectively above that which they were individually; again and again sacrificing even experience itself in order to advance a flag or promote an ideology.
If ever within the divine play some struggle within the plot merited the dedication of the actor’s lives, surely it approaches the irrelevant when held up against the effort to transform the collective consciousness in time to insure the very continuation of the tale itself! Will we survive into our racial adulthood and carry our story on to hundreds of worlds for millions of years, or will we founder and die, unfit to survive? The events of the coming century will bear heavily upon this question.
I am your daughter and I have been denied my rights of passage. How can we mark the end of our cultural adolescence when we each remain unconfirmed as individuals, our allegiance to the human cause unsworn? How can we free ourselves from superstition if we cannot bring ourselves into accord with the truth about our existential predicament?
Here we are. That’s what it comes down to. Again and again here we are. Again and again we are ourselves; suffering, ephemeral, bound up in a universe that defies expectation and transcends metaphor. So be it. Our only tenable position is to say yes to it, whatever it is.
Very well, then. I’ll take it! It’s what there is. I accept those terms of existence that I cannot change. I give my retroactive consent and take up my adult status of my own free will. Bring it on! I find that I do not yet resonate with the desire to end the cycle of birth and death. Life is more than a bridge between nothingness and nothingness. It is the perfect figure that dances upon that perfect unmanifest ground. It is what is before me and I will seize it with both hands. I am a part and product of this life, no more stuck inside of it than it is stuck inside of me.
I am alive at the turn of the Millennium! What great spirit has ever walked the Earth who would not have traded places to be me? Staggering miracles are my daily fare. Here I am, on stage for the climax. (A climax, anyway) The luckiest of the luckiest of the lucky! It is unbecoming of me to complain about anything ever, really. I have only to try to be worthy of this greatest honor.
Grandmother, Impulse to Life, Logos, Creator, Inner Self, this is my prayer: Help me to free myself from the bondage of self-centered and inefficient thinking. Help me to transcend the useless fear that has shackled my spirit. Help me to conquer my ignorance, apathy and cowardice. Grant me the perspective, focus and dedication requisite to the task at hand. Inspire me. Wash me with love. Let me be undaunted by the overwhelming complexity of it all, and the seeming uslessness of individual action. Remind me that I am never alone. Remind me that the tale has it’s own inner artistry and probability is not what it appears to be. We shall surely succeed, for all that action is needful to make it so. Grant me faith.
Thank you, Grandmother, for sending life into the future. Everything that I have and will experience, richness beyond counting, beauty unimaginable, these gifts have passed through you to me. In gratitude, indeed in reverence, I wish to help insure that the flame does not gutter and die at this crux, but burns on. It is yet possible that all this may come to an aesthetic conclusion.
Perhaps one day a young woman will stand with her feet firmly rooted in the soil of another planet, and she will call back to me across time with a joyful and impassioned voice, crying “I am your daughter! I am Cheiftess of a free people! I have reached the age of understanding and I do understand! Thank you for my life!” I need no more reason than this to persist; the beauty that I experience and the beauty that my experience makes possible.
It is sufficient.by