7. Shift

For me, the story of our connections as pheromones and lovers, push mes and pull mes, yin and yang, is a story of the ongoing spiral of moments that is the collective energy of the universe. The DNA of a being that is continually spinning and evolving as we add to it our genetic combinations, our emotional vibrations, our conscious thought. 

withoragainstI see slogans, like I did on the T-shirt of a man buying cigarettes at a convenience store: “You are either with us or against us.” And, knowing what I’ve been learning from people as I write the story of “Attainable We,” I believe he’s more black-and-white with that viewpoint than we tend to be. I see us moving, slowly, toward a more multicolored story.

News stories, of course, continue to be full of events caused by the “us or them” mentality. But in actuality, the universe is not a polarized duality of “this” or “that.” Easy as it can be to forget, many of us are starting to recognize the space where we connect and create something new, every day. 

As we’ve been exploring, everything changes. Our cells transform. Our genes adapt. Our society’s prevailing stories evolve. Something momentous yesterday is no longer momentous today. We are continually shifting and shaping and morphing, moment by moment, encounter by encounter. How could we be linear?

Maybe there is no starting point…. no ending point. I’m a storyteller that recognizes the power of the formula – but maybe ours is not a narrative arc with a beginning, middle and end… birth to midlife to death. Maybe our individual lives are simply too entangled with everyone else’s individual lives for us to be individually evolving.

Our feelings, our beliefs, our thoughts have an impact, not only on the loved one next to us, but the stranger we encounter on the street corner. We are all pivot points, intersecting with each other. And even the meaning of those moments change as life unfolds, as Parker Palmer suggests. 

What happens if we understand that the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, about others, are not fixed? What happens if we discover that we’re not separate?

What if we are, simply and profoundly, the ongoing story of the universe?

In the universe now there was no longer a container and a thing contained, but only a general thickness of signs, superimposed and coagulated, occupying the whole volume of space; it was constantly being dotted, minutely, a network of lines and scratches and reliefs and engravings; the universe was scrawled over on all sides, along all its dimensions. There was no longer any way to establish a point of reference; the Galaxy went on turning but I could no longer count the revolutions, any point could be the point of departure, any sign heaped up with the others could be mine, but discovering it would have served no purpose, because it was clear that, independent of signs, space didn’t exist and perhaps had never existed.

– “Cosmicomics,” by Calvino