Offspring

Goose_FountainNow that September is here so is summer. This afternoon the temperature is in the upper 80’s with high humidity, and thunderstorms are off to our west.  All this suggests we will have storms later. This would be good as the land is very dry.

Maybe as a result of my last post, maybe because there are fruit flies in the kitchen, I find myself thinking a good deal about offspring. Self replication is a function of complex systems. Of course, offspring are not exact replicas of us. Rather, they are unique beings, reflecting the conditions of their personal trajectories through life. Why, they don’t even necessarily look like us, although I’m not sure this applies to fruit flies. Still, our kids arise from us somehow.

A while back an acquaintance was holding a double crystal in his hand, when the crystal broke in two. What had been one was now something else, and the two parts were free to find their own way in the world. Now, we would be hard pressed to know which two crystals had previously been joined. Maybe it’s a bit easier with twin people, especially if they are identical. Even then, in spite of their twinniness, they have separate, compelling lives.

Replication is an everyday event; the world is filled with offspring! That said, reproduction is also a miracle. Many religions traditions share a sense that children, and childbirth, are sacred. Most Native peoples have stories about the magical birth of the beings who brought order and culture to their world.

Often those beings are twins! Sometimes the twins are both heroic; sometimes one is good while the other is evil. Either way, they go about the task of bringing some semblance of order to the world. Given the way things turned out, I have a preference for stories where the twins take different paths, as those stories seem more true to our world.

Speaking of initial conditions, we have morning glories in pots, and morning glories that self-seeded. The latter are much more robust, although the former have had more preferential treatment. Try as we might to create the ideal conditions for those plants in pots, we largely fail. It is a mystery, although a replicable one.

It is all, at core, a mystery. I often wonder whether, if we let the world be mysterious, filled with things and events we do not, perhaps cannot, understand, we might treat it as more precious. After all, the world is fragile and beautiful, as are our lives. I guess the down side to the mysterious is that we might have to give up the illusion of ultimate control. But again, as one learns when on has kids, that may not be so bad.

 

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3 thoughts on “Offspring

  1. “We might have to give up the illusion of ultimate control.” As a gardener, that is a frequent lesson for me. You do your best to prepare the soil, sow the seeds, pull the weeds, water as needed and then it’s still up to Mother Nature how the end result looks like (that also applies to our children 🙂 ). Moreover, the creation process remains an absolute mystery to me – how a large plant can sprout from a seemingly dry and lifeless seed – it truly is a miracle. To see the lifeforce in action, in nature and in the garden (which is more controlled nature), is humbling and gratifying at once.

  2. I got no kids, but i love mystery. Been reading a lot of stories lately about how the world came to be, and reasons for the way things are. These Native American stories often remind that taking on too much responsibility, or over controlling a situation, is good for nothin. When meeting someone new, i enjoy mutual mystery.

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