For full effect, actually, click this to listen* on repeat while you read.

You know, it’s like, Marxism is incredibly powerful. It can pick out the underlying forces and help you make useful predictions about all political-economic situations, no matter how different.

In order to become competent at this analysis, I had to focus on what was the same in very diverse situations, over and over again.

Something about looking at this strange instrument and not knowing what it would sound like and hearing this haunting music come out of it reminded me of something very different about the world than that.

Today I saw a video of a strange and interesting bird in Palestine. I would never have imagined either the bird or this music existed.

I think of the tens of billions of species that came and ran their race on this earth, all the different ways of being a living thing, all the perfectly unique rhythms of living, made up of totally specific individuals, that swelled up and then popped like a soap bubble–and that this is still going. I feel as one feeling both being haunted and being struck by the sublimeness of how small I am, how little I will ever see.

There is such a vastness to life. And what is strange is it is unlike all other vastnesses–it is a vastness built out of struckness, out of pregnant and quiet pauses. How could you race across the planet and through time and see everything, you couldn’t, you would be slowed down by awe, again and again. And the time your awe took you would keep you from seeing any but just the tiniest fraction of it.

Humanity is amazing, but there is something bigger in this than humanity. Against my own wishes, I find myself having to come to this conclusion. What there is here is bigger than communism. I think it is good to fight to protect the particular life on this planet now and all the future life that can come from it, to protect and nurture all the seeds of hope and sacrifice that have been sown over a billion years. But nothing I’m doing can save or not save the particular thing that is striking me right now. When I think of what I’m thinking of it feels like the only appropriate action is to kneel.

.

.

.

.

.

.

* In case it is ever lost to time, the music is a 91-second recording of music by Wolfgang A. Mozart being played on a glass harmonica by Thomas Bloch in the Paris Music Museum on Nov. 29, 2007.

Advertisements