I’m standing out in front of Charlie’s braving the barely rain, smoking a cigarette. The intermittent drops of precipitation have traveled six thousand five hundred sixty one feet and seven inches, give or take, in order to hit me. A journey that takes around three minutes to complete from air to ground.
The moisture that fueled that rain hung out in the atmosphere for roughly nine days. It traveled to those heights through an accident of evaporation once separated from the greater body of molecules that forms a sea, or an ocean, or a river, or a stream through a process that could have taken days, or could have taken thousands of years.
It could have, given different timing, become snow. As snow it could have ended up in a glacier where it might never have a chance to escape. Instead, it has landed on my skin, where it will be absorbed into my being as nutrient for my cells, joining the roughly sixty percent of my body that is water. Once a part of me, it will likely be expelled as perspiration or waste some day. Or if I die before that happens, it will return to the air as part of the process of decomposition. Any of these options are simply another opportunity for the molecules that have gone through so much to strike me on this sidewalk to once again rejoin the cycle.
Every one of those molecules are as old as the universe. Composed of the same material, we are all of us ancient things. All made of the same basic star stuff. And through that, interstitched by time and space and matter and energy -- we are all connected. Nothing any of us has done or is doing now or will do yet can change that. We are all of us by the virtue of that connection responsible for each other. We are all of us defined by both both the least and greatest actions of our species. And with all of this being true? You'd think we'd be able to talk to each other more effectively.
Perhaps the water didn't have to strike my arm. Perhaps the odds of it having done so are incalculably high. Or perhaps once it made contact with my skin it was if it never had any other path. Perhaps our actions are our own. Or is it that they are immutable, the end result of hundred of thousands of micro-reactions. I don't know the answer. But I suspect that if we hold the rain accountable, we must also eventually, at the end of a journey of atonement, allow the opportunity to consider that it is the sky that is ultimately responsible. There should probably be room for nuance in how we consider these things.
But I'm no wise man on the mountaintop. And even if I was, it would probably be well past time to knock me off that perch in favor of placing a woman in the spot instead. This is a time for listening on the part of me and those who look like me. I just.. If there is a way we can go about these things while remembering that humans were perfectly good monkeys until evolution ruined us? Keeping in mind that no one person is the sum total of a single moment? I feel like the path to justice lies somewhere in that direction.
. . .
None of this, of course has much to do with any of the music played here tonight. Which by and large was excellent. Extra kudos to Purrer, who knocked my socks off. And The Smirks -- who tore the roof off with their set. I'd wax poetic on the many virtues of all the bands who killed it, but I'm wore the hell out tonight.
Suffice it to say that if you see a poster with any of these groups on the bill? You should go to the show.