When nothing becomes something, does god laugh? Emergence and change are constants in nature, artifacts of forces and substances intermingling in a dance that sets its own pace regardless of our observance.
A stone grew teeth, or seemed to when I saw it. Big laughing teeth jutting right up out of the ground.
At the moment that I recognized the stone to have teeth, I became interested in it. Until the very moment of being recognized, it was just stone, plain and simple. Igneous rock sandwiched between sedimentary rocks, substances formed over a span of time we are barely able to conceive, form the grin. It's easy to see the bits of things they are made of, but now those things are becoming something else. They have never stopped changing and never will.
I once recognized Clint Eastwood driving in his Mercedes in Monterey. Until the moment his face became a face I could identify, he was just a driver in a green car at an intersection taking his turn to pass through. Ho hum. After the surprise of recognition, the moment became important, and I talked about it to a friend.
I wondered what else changed, but now I know that the simpler question is what did not change because the answer is: Nothing. Every single thing changes all the time. Force and substance are always dancing.
Former classmates from high school have faces that time has weathered and gravity has worked on. I feel my mind clanging through data banks, opening drawers and closing them quickly in a search of a match with old images captured long ago. "Is that...? No, can't be." But it is. A face once solidly familiar has changed and become nearly entirely unfamiliar.
Children you first saw when they were born and last saw when they were two walk up to you in high heels 15 years later and say hello, and your mind does a stutter step as it looks for a familiar landmark on the face before you, one that identifies this young woman as the same child you last saw in diapers a short time ago. A blink of an eye, and everything seems different. I wonder if it's me changing, rushing through time while everything else stands still. It feels like that.
Old trees and landmarks seem imperturbable and abide changes, show us how to do the same. I stand next to old trees and think that they have seen a lot, endured much, withstood change every minute of their lives. Strong and gnarled old trees, warriors dancing in the wind, defy the forces around them but change constantly in spite of themselves.
The toothed rocks will be there for a long time I imagine. I just saw them for the first time. They seemed the very grin ofgod. I wanted there to be eyes, too, and a big resounding laugh that would echo off the hillsides and roll up into the clouds. What's next to emerge, what will come into being and what will be lost eventually? I happened on a grinning rock that laughed for having emerged, whether I was there or not. Knowing it's there, I smile too.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way