one hundred trillion neutrinos pass through each of us every second, yet we cannot feel them with sensual registers already discovered. there are things so very small, so small that even the word “small” is too imprecise. yet. we are, likewise, so minuscule. we are so very tiny in comparison to the expanse of the universe. every time i worry about the perniciousness of our world, the ridiculous inequity and unceasing violence, i take comfort in our smallness. it’s a strange thing in which to find comfort, perhaps. but knowing how insignificant we are within this great expanse is beautiful to me.
it is not that what we experience is insignificant, no. it is very big and great and tumultuous and lovely, all. but that such big things can be, within the great expanse, nothing at all? beautiful. it comforts me that the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism experienced are inventions, that they do not have to exist. and it comforts me to know that the great expanse with its relativity of time, that these isms we experience as great big things are nothing in the blip of time.
isn’t it beautiful that something as small as we can experience such feelingly big emotions like joy and happiness and peace and love? and isn’t it beautiful that we that are so small can experience loss and grief and heartache from those lived who have passed on and away? isn’t it beautiful that the smell of earth and flowers and the taste of good food can move us deeply? and yet such things are nothing…? not nothing to us who experience such things, but nothing in terms of the great expanse of space-time, the great expanse of other worlds? beautiful.
i’m thinking, of course, of Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha, how the story begins by describing how Maud Martha loved dandelions … she loved their prettiness, their appearance aesthetically, only second to their ordinariness, their everydayness … she felt that if something ordinary could be cherished, so could she. so in the ordinary, Maud Martha found the possibility for self love. so i guess i think about how ordinary we are and how we come to cherish each other and how we have big and small feelings. and within the great expanse, we are small and ordinary and nothing but we are and can be cherished. ❤