Flying to Ask the Earth
Climb a mountain and stand way up there alone in the sky and ready your ultimate question about life. Naturally you want to unfurl your wings like an eagle and make the unknown horizon give up its answers. Ask the question straight up into the wind, far into the quiet turbulence of a regular day. If you're lucky, the confusion comes. You are confused because you sent your question as far as you could, and when the answer came back – did you know it already? It turns out the answer is not a glorious Universal Truth. In fact, you're not addressing a great sky from a mountain. You're standing on a street corner in your neighborhood and the answer seems to be this baby peeing on your hands. The sky is burning Russia now. The Plateau of Tibet is melting and many are dying in Pakistan and China. The flood and the fire are never reported as a statement of the Earth. The sky is not a "reliable source." The sixteen highest peaks in the world, locked in fantastic ice, are flying downstream. No language rises into the wind of our fretting minds from this greatest artistic gesture? No, because we don't think tragedies are good answers. Excuse me while I kiss the sky! Wait a minute, how do you really kiss the sky? How do you listen to it? Up on our mountaintop, we are aware of this miracle: The Earth knows how to make life out of death. We human beings can't do that. We imitate the Acts of God with our wars, but wars can't make life out of all their death. Oh, the war men promise a better life, democracy, prosperity and everything else, but they can't make life out of all their death. The Earth knows the secret of how to do that. We should listen to that answer. The Earth makes life out of death. Back to the original question. Back to climbing that mountain, or it's not a mountain - it's a moment. We stand on a little street and the moment sweeps over us like impressive bad weather. We make a clumsy leap from the cliff's edge. We have a question in mind, it was always there. We try to concentrate as we fall and focus down on the words: "How do I join you? How do I live so that I make life?" The sky knows we are flying before we do.