Everything is trembling, like plants in time-lapse films, the first green shoot shaking as if with fear, as it climbs up out of its dark dirt bed, and lifts its head and starts to make itself, one little green arm after another. A thousand-armed green goddess growing into herself day by day, leaf by leaf. It is like that now, here, this trembling on Earth, I feel, I see it everywhere, the news today that Germany has made all public transportation free, and Paris, too, and Lichtenstein. Everyday little things like that that are actually very big things. The world is wobbling as it unfolds its new self, like a sunflower, turning toward the light.
Yesterday my friend Virginia said a sentence that felt like that. A press conference announcing the festival for International Women's Day next week. She said, "We are turning violence into love." At first it doesn't make any sense, like saying we are turning rocks into water. But everything is possible. Isn't a diamond transformed coal? The whole world is living alchemy. How does one egg, activated by a tiny swimming sperm, become a whole person, with eyelashes and two feet that are such miraculously engineered structures that they can support the skyscrapers of our bodies, and catch us as we fall forward with each step?
And when she said it, I saw the city's Cultural Councilor, who was sitting next to her, nod his head involuntarily, a single, tiny, almost imperceptible moment of his body agreeing, but I saw it. And I saw in that flickering moment the corners of his mouth lift as subtly as one of the trembles in the flower stalk as it lifts its head toward the light in the time-lapse movie. I could see in that tiny tremble him thinking, If she can say something like that in an official political moment like this, and the roof not fall in, then so can I. I knew then, more than ever, that we are going to make it through this time. This time of untold, untellable sorrow and pain, of children being ripped from their parents and put in prisons, or sold as slaves, or wives, or simply turn into walking, wide-eyed skeletons in the rubble after their homes have been bombed by drones sent by the country, my country, that calls itself the leader of the free world.
A few years ago I read a single page Deepak Chopra wrote about the state of the world, and I was instantly filled with an unshakable faith that we were going to be alright. Unshakable, but trembling, just like a butterfly climbing out of its cocoon fully formed, but shuddering in the sunlight as it gets used to its new self, waving its wings as they dry. He said we have gone into isolation mentality, just like the caterpillar being overcome by the urge to turn away from the world, wrap itself up and go to sleep. And in that sleep, the caterpillar dissolves into jelly. But within the jelly flashes a tiny light. And then another, and another, flashing through the goo, making connections. They are the cells that contain the code, the image, of the butterfly. Biologists have named them the imaginal cells. We are them, Chopra says. We are the imaginal cells of the new state of humanity. We have invented the internet so that we can find each other easily. Just keep flashing your light, and making connections, and soon we will find ourselves unfolding our beautiful sticky wings in the sunlight, trembling slightly as they dry.