Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Lapses in Synapses Revisited
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Lapses in synapses. The aliens saw a box of infinity where Trudy saw a box of Cream of Wheat. Listening to the amazing space reports from journalists today as they shared the Mars information from scientists who were more animated than I’ve ever seen them, I celebrated with them. I didn’t jump from my chair, or shout with arms outstretched, but I felt their true enthusiasm and I smiled with each report I heard. I watched the images over and over, as the NASA engineers explained the decades-long and billion-dollar project, how incredulous they were that all went flawlessly. If I do nothing else in my life, one said, this will have been enough. Wow, the reporter said, that’s saying a lot. I thought about his words, the way he stood, his vibrating, smiling whole body. He likened the whole project and projections to the moonwalk, those giant images broadcast around the world AND in Times Square. Worlds connecting.
I listened to the reports that one man and the company he worked with proceeded with the project to include the descending imager even after the funds for that piece were pulled due to NASA budget constraints. They paid it themselves – it was THAT important. The pride that emanated from these scientists was palpable – in the commitment, the knowledge, the expansion of knowledge, the dedication, the teamwork, the RESULTS, the infinite potential of learning and seeing more of what it means to be human, to have life. THAT’S what I’m talking about!
All the smiles, the pride and the giddy enjoyment of parachutes, craters, dust, robots, newness, brought back to my mind Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner’s play (1986 Tony Award) The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life In the Universe. I immediately pulled up clips and reviews via Google. With each one I read, I smiled more. I remembered more bits from the live show I saw eons ago at the Kennedy Center in D.C. I laughed out loud as I read, and I remember howling with the crowd with tears running down my cheeks while listening in person.
How much we miss when we are afraid people will think we are crazy, Trudy said. That is a good thought to mull over. We will ultimately know the difference between the thoughts and actions that make us laugh as we share in our humanity and those that come from a dark fear of other beings of any kind, human, animal, beasts of the Southern or Northern Wild, “mud people,” ghosts, all manner of noisy things.
Never underestimate the power of the human mind to forget, Wagner and Tomlin wrote in one monologue. I add, never forget the power of the human mind to remember. To remember where we came from, beyond the corner of Walk/Don’t Walk, beyond the village of our ancestors, beyond the small well-lit apartment, the suburban lawn and house with driveway and dogs, the farm where cows, pigs revel and the sun sets beautifully behind trees as if this is the only place on Earth. Ours is a legacy to BE the intelligent life in the Universe, as we laugh at our ways, as we learn more, as we seek the knowledge to truly know why we have such lapses in synapses. When children tell stories, listen carefully. When older people repeat stories, listen carefully. We the people are called to Listen to the voices within us and celebrate, share the best of who we are. The energy of the interweaving of we are and the lives we share at all times of Earth, Nature, are singing to all who will listen. We are each responsible for aggressively eradicating ignorance as we open to the Ethical Values of knowledge which teach us at any age of life and time as we are open to learning to be love.