Saturday, September 18, 2010
I had a friend once who carried on imaginary conversations with God. She said he looked a lot like Morgan Freeman, brought her coffee in bed, and spoke with her about whatever was on her mind. I'm not of any religious persuasion and don't believe in any single deity (though the notion of lesser gods doesn't worry me), but I often talk to myself when I'm alone. I found this post of a few years ago when those inner thoughts took the form of a conversation. I thought it might be fun to show it the light of day once more before deleting it.
g: I know you don't like spiders but they make useful metaphors.
Me: Which metaphor is that? The one where life is compared to a trap? Or the one about tangled webs of deceit?
g: Neither. I was thinking more along the lines of a circle full of different threads...
Me: That's a metaphor?
g: Paths, choices, all connected, going around. A web is not a metaphor for life?
Me: No wonder I'm tired all the time. I'm going around in circles.
g: You think squares would be more productive?
Me: Those right angles would keep you on your toes.
g: Cut them off and what do you have?
Me: Is it as annoying being G as it is not being able to believe in you?
g: Said the spider to the fly...
Me: EVERYTHING is circular?
g: I count, let's see, more than 100 books on science and philosophy on your shelves and you're asking ME if everything is circular?
Me: Not everything...
Me: Not even all cells are round.
g: Oh please. Move a line around here and there (sorry) and what do you end up with?
Me: Can we talk about it more specifically?
g: When we get around to it...
Me: Not funny.
g: I screwed up somewhere. Most humans have such an underdeveloped sense of humor it's almost funny.
Me: Is everything supposed to be funny?
g: Humor is the great leveler. It also makes the world go round.
Me: We're going in circles here.
g: Exactly. It's a dance, you see. You all clasp hands and move in circles. Big ones, small ones, outer circles, inner circles. You change partners and go in concentric circles. You even invent circles (after you go round and round with problems and possible solutions). You travel in circles...
Me: Then why am I feeling so strung out?
g: A straight line is really just a stretched out bit of circle. You'll snap back. Think of the world you live in, the one you perceive, as the innards of a clock. You step on and off the various gears. When you're not paying attention, sometimes you step between the teeth and you think the world has changed. It's no longer going in circles. It's just you off-gear, though. And when you think about it, you're still going around, albeit in a more uncomfortable position.
Me: And to get back "on-gear," I...?
g: Let go of the edge. Life will fling you back up somewhere.
It was sort of like being in the middle of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.
“The biologist Stephen Jay Gould famously proposed that if we could "rewind the tape" of evolution and play it again, chance would give rise to a world that was completely different from the one we live in now. But the concept that chance reigns supreme may ring less true when it comes to complex behaviours. A study of the similarities between the webs of different spider species in Hawaii provides fresh evidence that behavioural tendencies can actually evolve rather predictably, even in widely separated places.” From The Worlds of David Darling.
Photo credit: www.daviddarling.info/ images/spider_web.jpg