The reason is nothing evolved alone. Evolution was always co-evolution, and that's the reason everything quickly runs haywire. Everything you think of.
Where is the essay?, God says. I was going to title it 48%.
I saw 48% on a bumper sticker. Just the number, 48%. I knew what it meant.
And I thought about the other meanings it could have. Let's say you want to understand your purpose. "Living your purpose," you wonder.
Co-evolution says good luck with that. You start out a note, but as soon as you hit the air, enter the world, you wobble and morph, resonances from your touch ring out empty jars, wrecked cars, the weekend, out of lambs wool and teasel and fields. The goddam beautiful slave hills of northern Virginia glowing dully in the summer twilight.
Co-evolution says, everything wobbles. There was a story on the radio a few years ago. It reported the construction of a really quite astonishing instrument, a listening instrument, of a sort, tuned to detect and respond to the almost unbearably subtle touch of the plectrum of God knows what. It was named the something-something gravity wave detector.
Everything wobbles. You wobble. Skin is a permeable membrane. You and your big fat personality walking through airport security coming unglued layer by layer shedding into the bins the x-ray, the pat-down, oh, please, don't wand me down there.
When you gas up you taste your car the sides of your tongue. Your child stumbles about, giddy toward the curb at the edge of Constitution Avenue, to fall, you hitch over, struck by the same loss of balance.
Blah blah. In eastern Washington state on the prairie they built an L-shaped detector, each a mile long, a tunnel, inside each tunnel a laser. What are you holding on to all this time? Your breath with small hands draws life inside your body, then lets it go. What have you got to do with it? Mr. In Charge. Mr. Keeps His Face Like Pocket with Money. Mr. Fucked Yourself Over Good.
The tunnels in this two-mile pair of L stands for Love get it legs of this tunnel, etched to the basalt prairie seismically stable as it comes, contain lasers and mirrors. So you have to picture the red laser shooting, the width of what? Dixie straw? Horse hair? Straight on purpose, a mile. Think of the ratio of width to length. Try to picture it.
Caleb said, How tall are we to ants? He was looking through high windows, up into the roofs of some trees.
In any election you lose 48% of the vote, you ain't win much, by much except luck, and a smart person ought to feel humbled by the fact and show grace, and the President is not, and he ain't.
Put your mind to what is your purpose, and if you come away with a wider margin one side or the other, you may be doing something right, or you may be wrong from the beginning. Lots of dumb stuff results when approached with singleness of purpose.
My friend Sande Smith said intuition is not signs and wonders. It's knowing your true north lies just a half-inch off your path.
The lasers in the tunnels bounce back and forth between their mirrors. The mirrors are exactly equal distance apart. The lasers are driving at exactly 55 miles per hour, the legal speed limit of light in this universe. It takes each laser exactly one fifty-fifth of an hour to get over to its mirror, exactly one fifty-fifth of an hour to get back. Every single time. One fifty-fifth of an hour downtown, one fifty-fifth to get back.
You have to spend a lot of time doing absolutely nothing but walking to get an idea of how hard is that half-inch. It's a tiny fractional difference. It's the difference between where you think you should go, and where living your purpose would go.
What they did in the LIGO was start listening to the deep space, where waves roll from so deep in the fabric, they are low and slow and you can't even, you don't even, I mean, you can picture it, but can you measure it? Is it really there? Because just like your reflection in water when a wave runs through it, you get tall end to end and skinny in the middle, the gravity researchers say, when a wave runs through gravity, that's what the lasers will show: how the solid world gets taller end to end and skinnier in the middle. Because those laser beam lights are going to take just a little longer on one side, a little shorter on the other, when that wave distorts their fixed measure. Downtown is suddenly briefly a little farther away.
I'm trying to work myself from nowhere to somewhere.
I want only to share transcendent moments here and there.
I'm tired of shit: cat shit, rabbit shit, duck shit.
I said, we could have a party, just invite the neighbors, and try to put aside your neurotic comp--
Oh, you said. I get it.