Ode to Emergent Properties

Let us talk about life.

There will be plenty of time

The other side of the event horizon

To discuss the implications of crossing

That border.

How can we live knowing we will die?

Try asking a rock, a boulder, a mountain

How the other possibility feels.

It takes us so long, chasing after answers to the

Wrong questions, to finally formulate

Right ones. We then have little time

Left to contemplate the wording.

We are lizards so long, sunning ourselves to get

Our body temperature up. Then squirrels, running and

Chattering and fighting to store the most acorns. Then

Building and worshipping and caressing the past, or

Illusions, or Beauty.

Beauty is an emergent property. An unanswerable one.

The peculiarly delicate antennae needed to perceive it--

Also an emergent property.

We do not yet know what else will emerge

From the sum total of all our emergent properties.

But think exponential, not linear.

We know how to do so many things that we choose

Not to do.

It is so easy to love

This life.

It is so hard to spurn

Each other. So costly to punish others for not doing

What you are not doing either.

Listen. Witness. Share the story, which spreads the pain so thin that it can

Break, like a film of ice over a muddy puddle.

Listen again.