The wonderful thing about specks

Only by connecting our own birth, our own existence, to that of everything and everyone we know, to the birth of the universe itself, can we confidently and genuinely say with [Walt] Whitman, who called himself a “Kosmos,” that “every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.*
(Maria Popova)

The top story is the one that informs our narrative, and our narrative informs our future.**
(Seth Godin)

Marion Dane Bauer’s poem from the heart of science The Stuff of Stars is now on my wishlist of books. Illustrated beautifully by Ekua Holmes, your readers, and not so young, are transported back to when all that is was a speck floating through nothing:

In the dark,
in the dark,
in the deep, deep dark,
a speck floated,
invisible as thought,
weighty as God.
There was yet no time,
there was yet no space.
No up,
no down,
no edge,
no centre.^


No Earth with soaring hawks,
scuttling beetles,
trees reaching for the sky.
There was no sky.
No you.
No me.
Only the speck,

Even after the big bang it would be billions of years before anything recognisable to us would take shape:

Again and against
gave birth
to stardust.^

We were not aware of any of this until another speck takes form:

Then one day…
in the dark,
in the dark,
in the deep, deep dark,
another speck floated,
invisible as dreams,
special as Love.
Until at last,
YOU burst into the world.^

Our lives will be tested by the wonder of it all.

We find it so easy to forget this or dismiss what is the top story. We lose track of how we, together with all flora and fauna, are the stuff of stars. We separate and separate from, and sometimes fight, each other.

Our lives can stop moving while our planet continues to hurtle through space. We make up rules that benefit us over others and have little to do with the wonder.

But, again, when we’ve allowed the story of wonder to be our top story, oh my!

And there is more to come, far more:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.^^

Whether we look out into space or into each others lives we see what a speck can become: a cosmos of glorious wonder.

Eugene Peterson captures something of this as he writes:

God’s first language is full-spectrum light, clear water, deep sky, red squirrel, blue whale, grey parrot, green lizard, golden aspen, orange mango, yellow warbler, laughing child, rolling river, serene forest, churning storm, spinning planet.*^

May we be led deeper into the wonder of it all, the stuff of stars:

and the velvet moss,
the caterpillars,
the lions.

and the singing whales,
the larks,
the frogs.

and me
loving you.
All of us
the stuff of stars.^

(*From Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: The Stuff of Stars.)
(**From Seth Godin’s blog: Our top story.)
(^Marion Dane Bauer‘s The Stuff of Stars, quoted in maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: The Stuff of Stars.)
(^^An African saying, quoted in Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)
(*^From Brian McLaren’s We Make the Road by Walking.)

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