Published in  
August 1, 2017

My Life Itself

My life itself is sacred. It is not sacred merely in small doses.

It is not sacred only on weekends or on special occasions when I feel at one with things. It is not sacred because it is consecrated to some lofty ideal or because I am special or holy. It is sacred when I am confused, when I’ve just messed up and acted like a jerk, when I put myself on a pedestal, or when I pretend I have it all together. Why? Because my life is not personal. It is not mine.

Oh no…I do not mean to evade the responsibilities of living in the ways I do. I do not mean to throw my agency away to some nebulous hive mind that steals my specificity. When I say my life is not mine, I mean to say that my life is lived through many others, because of many others, by many others, and in lieu of many others. I breathe only because the air moves and because some tree somewhere did not withhold its breath; I stand because the ground does not withhold its endorsement; I eat and digest and defecate because of the hard invisible work done by micro-critters in my belly; I speak even though I didn’t invent alphabets.

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I am part of a commonwealth of movement, and the boundaries I am used to – where I stop and where you begin, what I believe and what you disavow – beguile me from noticing the haunting length, breadth, warp and woof of the nameless thing living partially as me. Something else, flung out across the bumpy terrains of spacetime, needs my failure in order to gestate; someone else, in another time and place, may be stunted and crushed by the accolades I accrue to myself today; and my tears may ripple out into rivers in ways I cannot anticipate.

My life is sacred because it is delicate, because it spills through, because it is necessarily incomplete, and because it is not mine. It is manifold. And I can’t figure it out.