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A red dot of (perhaps) blood 0

Dear Bradshaw,

            Lately, I’ve been flabbergasted by something I read: that someone observing the Earth from a distance of (I don’t have any idea, let’s say) a hundred million light years would see events that transpired here on Earth 500, 10,000, even 100,000 or more years ago. That means someone watching at the right time and from the right distance might see Jesus on the cross, Moses parting the Red Sea, Buddha achieving enlightenment under the Bo Tree, the invention of the wheel, the discovery of fire, the first human being born, and all kinds of other stuff. The idea that such events are still seeable and that such a thing is possible scrambles my brain like an egg in a frying pan. What about cell phones and the fact that this room (I’m at home, on my couch, feet up, drinking wine) is filled with countless conversations, radio transmissions, and who knows what else, and I need only tune into the right frequency in order to eavesdrop?

            This brings a memory to mind: I was driving with Francesca and there was a tiny insect on my arm, literally the size of a pinprick. It was crawling across my elbow and through its transparent skin I saw a red dot of (perhaps) blood. It struck me as a phenomenon that such a miniscule creature could exist, and with a circulatory system, brain waves, and who knows, maybe even a sex drive. Meanwhile, what did it eat, where did it live, and sleep? Seeing something so small and alive made me consider microscopic levels of life and, at the same time, I suspected there must also be macroscopic dimensions of existence too big for human eyes to see, and that, my good friend Shaw, is another mind-scrambler. Who am I to think my life is more important or superior to an animal’s or insect’s life? Perhaps a bird marvels in its flight and its song as much as any batter who hits a homerun with three balls and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth inning of the championship game. Maybe that miniature bug was searching for food to feed its family and, perhaps, just maybe (and I’m only postulating here, buddy) in the insect world, that’s what it means to hit a homerun with three balls and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth of the championship game.

            Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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