Creation Has No Understudy

“We are here to abet creation and to witness it,

to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed.

Together we notice not only each mountain shadow

and each stone on the beach, but

we notice each other’s beautiful face and complex nature 

so that creation need not play to an empty house

(emphasis added)

~Annie Dillard, The Meaning of Life, the Big Picture

Life Magazine, December, 1988


Creation, nature, the splendor of an October-harvest-day a-falling, the whiff of grass a-summerin’, the crack of ice a-springing, the flakes of stark a’wintrin’. Life lives,  seasons cycle, blooms bloom, moons moon.

Glory-Bosque-naturally we’re trunks.¹

We’re the folks in the cheap seats.

Watchin’ creation take a bow every day. It’s SRO though, ain’t it?  No empty seats.  We may not be paying attention, might be sleeping in Section 11, Row 22, Seat 7 but we’re there.  Watching the fourth act of this five-act creation production.

The house is full, but the crowd is silent.  Sitting on their hands. The climate is warming but the audience is cold. Cold. Cold.  Waiting and watching. The players are doing all the work. Straining to connect with each of us. The lions have charisma, but its the bees….

Yes, those bees…dying off one-by-one-by-tons. They aren’t the leads and the audience just doesn’t pay attention but they’re the journeymen, the character actors, the ensemble. And when the ensemble starts to crack.  Well…the show doesn’t have to go on, really.

Going to be a tragedy? Too late to be a light-hearted romp. Going to find a hero at the end, a detective to walk in with a pipe and solve the problem of enviro-political gridlock-malaise? Waiting for a Patton to roll in, jump in the mud and start giving orders to unwind this Gordian knot of a climate fast-change traffic jam?

It sure as heck will not be a comedy, unless there are smiles from those above, those dice rollers making bets about what we’ll do, playing around with Jobs-R-Us. We might be chuckling at the mess at intermission, but weeping at the unrequited love of nature for us, as the grave death of our heroine, Mother Nature, seems imminent. No ingenue, this Mother Nature, yet diseased and quasi-deceased too early.

All-the-plants and Tax-returns are Zed.²

The end of the alphabet and the end of the line. (You know it has to be if the tax collecting business has folded.)

Play over.

Curtain down, Exit stage left. Harsh reviews, and we’ve had a few billion years to get it right.

It’s time to bring in some play doctor and rewrite the ending.

Don’t you think?

Better creation playing to an empty house than a full house waiting for the star of the show to show.

Creation has no understudy.


¹Apologies to Officer Krupke…

²Apologies to both Mr. Rosencrantz and Mr. Guildenstern…

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