I had thought that life must still be represented by a tree. That the interconnections among its various branches can and should and must be traced back, in time say, to where the splittings off occurred. That we must care that much about ancestry.
I've known forever that the Great Chain of Being was and remains a hoax. Sure, there is no ladder to take us all the way to heaven, along the rungs of rock through beasts to man and finally God. This can't be retrofitted into Darwin's scheme. There is no trajectory to evolution's thrust.
But I had thought order natural. And now I find that there are no real tracings back. That bloodline defines almost nothing important about the story that is now. That when descendants obsess about what is in their past, they exercise a kind of racism, depending on fictional categories to define their truth.
If grandma was a slave, then I am too? Perhaps I must hide that fact from those who check my purity; my IQ at the door. I cannot be proud either, unless I choose my own line with care. The omissions I make define me too, and control which way I spiral.
For surely our personal resolve cannot be determined by these chains of matings. Why would we leave out those rather more deliberate connections from the distaff line, say, or still better, made among library shelves where once we did learn that to discharge the feelings of those outside our door would exile our very selves from anything that might count for feeling.
So it is the beasts which touch me, and not those remoter in my supposed past, which have set me in my form. These twinned hands and feet and digits almost always counting five. These define my kinship now and not some more original plan.
There were always plenty of dead ends where leaves would grow. Eight fingers, say, but these would dry out at season's end; turn red, say, and pack the earth for others. The five toed would know one another, and before devouring bless the fact of digestibility, through flesh to other leafy stuff; bacteria back to earth.
This tree then, is but a figure which, abstracted from soil or air above looks rather more like the orbs of our brain which also acts as one.
Its trunk a faggot tightly bound, of nutritional information. Without this limination, earth to air, there would be more apparent intertwining of the halves.
We are fooled then, paying attention always and only to that aspect which can greet our eyes. That which we call beauty.
Beneath our soil are invisible claims. These are the ones made by touch or sympathetic vibration or stirrings in our loins.
And at our core, this mysterious quality which sometimes gets called intention is really nothing more or less than what we would do if we were God with she who is right by our side. It animates our story, live, and makes the difference also that cannot be measured, between the one who withers on some branch, and who would thrive.