I have just returned from China. It is not just the jet lag that makes my head reel.
A land of 1.3 billion people, stacked one on top of another in a space the same size as the US. Fields of apartment skyscrapers like our fields of corn, stretching to the horizon. The skies always gray, never blue as all these souls exhale and try to inhale. Our young guide seeks his path, navigating between opportunity and the forbidden, which shape shift like yin and yang, leaving you never sure which is which. An ancient, ancient land bulldozing its glorious past to catch up with the present, to become the future. It is a place of numbers too large to comprehend.
And here at home a dear friend lies dying. Never having been religious, he has had his last confession, taken the last rites and lies ready, though fearful, to meet his God.
I am once again lost in the space between the banal and the profound–the worst of all jet lags. So many people as to make us all, each one beyond insignificant. And yet at birth and at death….
We know nothing of what lies beyond the gossamer fabric between life and death. Nothing in either direction. What precedes birth, what follows death. Nothing of where our universe came from, whence it is heading.
Billions of us asking the same questions, or more likely ignoring them.
All exhaling. All trying to breathe.