Pulse - Copyright September 2011, John Manimas Medeiros
Heartbeat. We regard this as the measure of life, the first vital sign.
No-pulse is taken as evidence that life, the primal spark and holy ghost, is gone.
But we search so deep and far for the meaning of life yet seem to find it everywhere,
Why do we reassure ourselves so often, as though fearful, a kind of abiding mistrust
checked and checked again, to confirm the frequency that yes there is life;
We are alive, the planet breathes. We can feel it in the rhythm of the wind,
the cadent stroke of the fingers of the sea against the quivering, granular shore,
the regular flight of birds, the hops of toads, and gentle, precise flutter of butterfly wings
and fish fins, raindrops, thunder, the spoken brush of leaves against embracing breeze.
All pulse upon pulse, beat over beat, tone, time, harmony and song, as pervasive as
light or bland being.
It would seem that we should rather search for signs of death than signs of life,
life so densely packed in every available space.
Is there any place or thing that is dead, really?
Even tombs possess a subtle tap or tingle that quickens us, sets our hairs on end,
arouses unnamed senses that register vague and frightful contacts with the pulse
of death itself, as though even de-cision of the sacred scale cannot achieve true silence.
No, there is no death or scientific termination, no stillness, no pure passive disconvivion
of the cosmic breath.
Search, go ahead, pry, probe and magnify; one cannot find a dot without a note or tone.
The rocks, ice in the mountains, the slippery sands in other worlds at the bottom of the sea,
have their pulse.
Yours too, and mine, may appear to go quiet one day, but that is just the limitation
of the instrument.
The soil draped upon us, whatever rests nearby, beneath us or around us or within us,
or drifting through the ephemeral sky of a weary thought -- always a pulse,
ever a pulse, the death we fear cannot be found, has never been discovered.
All the explorers always find something that is both new and old, but they have
never found, no matter how far and wide and deep, the null or void that some sad soul
imagines is the dry paper upon which the word of life is written.
Writing also, words inscribed or spoken or conceived, still a pulse.
Even the atom has a pulse, a vibration that is its identity and name -- And
I have been told that this at-tum is the smallest particle of reality,
saying to me therefore, that matter is alive, has a pulse, and even there in the evasive
caves of quantum, strings, plasma, theory and imagination, we still find a pulse.
The stars even more enormously turn, spin, launch, explode, expand and then paint
their epics on the canvas of timeless space.
Are we yet satisfied, that we cannot understand death
because it is nowhere to be found?
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