“Evolution has made us into machines,” you say. “We do not turn our heads at the scent of blood. We dare to stare boldfaced at the Sun and see a ball of gas instead of our Mother. She is a a scientific wonder we want to touch instead of a force of destruction that will burn us if we touch Her. What’s more, we hear sirens and crane our necks in the hope of catching a glimpse of a gasping victim. We turn our televisions off and listen to the traffic instead, wondering if other little heads are as mechanic as our own – ”
Oh, please. You are not a machine, child. You are flesh and blood. You are breakable, sometimes irreparable. Doesn’t the melody of the sirens prove that, in and of itself?
When I first cradled you in my hot arms of dirt and leaves and stone, you sought a model of your burning Mother, the Sun. You peeled the skin off my complexion and burnt it until you had fire like Hers. You scorched your fingers but you did it. You stumbled in the dark, but you did it. You breathed in the fumes, called yourselves old, then died and buried yourself in the folds of my stomach, but you did it even before then. I barely had to blink before you had covered my leafy arms in cobblestone and cement, forcing me to breathe it all in too. You triumphed over me, my dear, before the hair on your little heads could even turn a smoky gray. That’s impressive. Right?
At this point, I could call myself pretty domesticated. The fog surrounding your cities dims the light of your brilliant minds, the rain makes your white-hot ambition hiss, the swirling clouds above are a poor reflection of the chaos that swirls dances in the cavities of your own bodies. And yet, even as you zoom about on wheels through the thick matted crowds with hot air spilling out from between your racing lips, you think yourselves machines? With your golden footprints visible all the way from the blue troposphere, with skyscrapers ripping through the sky and marking your locations, you call yourselves lost? How does that make sense?
Look at you. Made of screaming colors, brimming from head to toe. You weave together and stitch a tapestry so diverse and messy and beautiful it leaves me in awe. Even the aimless amongst you walk, strut, run, breathe. Even those of you with perfect aim miss the mark sometimes, ending up in a tangled web, caught at a dead end in the labyrinth you built stone for stone. You try and try and try to be pristine and keep your heads above the water, but even chaos can swallow you up, my dear. Your blue denim doesn’t match the saturation of your blue mood. The swollen pink of your sweater doesn’t match the hue of your swollen pink palms so worn from hanging on to something solid, unwavering, unchanging. Strutting doesn’t translate to having control. Haven’t you figured that out, you know-it-all?
Stare me down. Your Mother and I would like for you to be brave, once again. Why? You dig your heels in and insist on straight lines and north and souths and lefts and rights, but directions always become tangled and chaotic. Look at me. In the eyes. Stop strutting, for a second, and stand in the middle of one of your straight lines. Dare to make it go off course. It can’t, you see? Its direction is embedded into my skin. It cannot go off course. You did this to yourselves. This is it. It’s coming closer. It’s coming closer now. It’s going to hit you. It’s going to hit you now. Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t –
-Ever stop at anything. Nothing stops. Your lips will not stop racing, you never stop aiming, the labyrinth will never stop expanding, and you will never stop strutting. Around every corner is a new mess, a new crowd, a new forest fire waiting to be quenched by your blood, your sweat, your tears. Your eyes are wide trying to capture the contrast in your own natures. Contradiction has become a part of you just as much as your ambition, you see. They’re both like playful kittens, knocking about in that little head of yours. Kittens, so delicate, so immaculate. Kitty heels snapping on the pavement so playfully, dreaming of becoming lions one day. Strut around that corner, and dream of a pack to lead. You’ve done it all your lives, throughout your history, since I cradled you in my leafy arms. Never stop dreaming, kitty.
A pack of lions strut out of the forest and around the corner, fire embers glowing faintly behind them, sparks encompassing their lanky forms. These are lions whose hearts are still young, whose fur haven’t even outgrown their fuzz, with kitten eyes still squinting in the fiery heat. As the trees around them slowly collapse and the Sun is blocked out by clouds of smoke, structures build themselves around their trifecta. They themselves slowly morph their bodies into something more contradictory in nature. Upright and walking – strutting – with expressions of hard determination and hot air spilling out from between their racing lips. My skin itches and erupts with veins of cement and concrete, and a community comes to life around them. With a single one-way direction to go, other kittens turned people aim to exist passionately as well, as passionately as the fire that once burned into the foundations of the chaos they have created…
… But look a little closer. The fire is still burning. A blink ago when I cradled you in my leafy arms and you sought your own model of your burning Mother. Look at you now. You are your own Mother, your own Sun now. A scientific wonder to touch instead of a force of destruction that will burn you if you touch it – that’s not just Her anymore. You shine brighter now, in your cities so brimming with chaos. Don’t fret, my child. Once upon a time, I was a child of chaos as well. The cosmos, the brilliant universe, so messy and without any real aim, created me from nothing. I have done the same with you. I made you out of clay to play with and passed that chaos on to you. Is this a bad thing, my dear? It doesn’t have to be.
You stand alone, now. Your Mother and I have let you go, now. Build your cities. Strut, pose, burn. Listen to the traffic, stand in the middle of it all and revel in what you have created. You are, yourselves, reflections of the chaotic universe you inhabit — but you’ve gone farther than what we would have ever guessed. You created little universes of your own, outside of the ones knocking around in your little heads. Your little “mechanic” heads.
You are not a machine, child. You are flesh and blood. You are ambitious, a force of contradiction to be reckoned with. You are blue and swollen pink, black and white. Don’t the universes bursting and burning in your little heads prove that, in and of itself?