If all matter in the universe were the Gobi desert, life would be but a single grain of sand.*
Maria Popova’s dramatic and critical measurement
reminding us of our smallness,
Hidden, as we are, amongst all that is,
Also served to bring a happy memory from yesterday
when I noticed two book titles sitting side by side on my bookshelves
for no other reason than I had misplaced one of them by author –
My simple way of putting my library together.
Too Big to Know by David Weinberger
Too Small to Ignore from Wess Stafford.
The former explores the future of knowledge in a connected world,
In which “the smartest person in the room is the room,”**
Whilst the latter tells the story of the children’s charity Compassion International,
Including the words of a Haitian child that shocked Stafford:
“I have nothing you need.”
No-one knows everything, but we all know something,
And our connection is imperative.
Hence generative oddkin,
A phrase Alan Jacobs passes on from writer Donna Haraway,
A call to be open to the other
and to stay awhile.
*From Maria Popova’s The Marginalian blog: Highlights in Hindsight: Favourite Books of the Past Year;
**From the subtitle of David Weinberger’s Too Big to Know.