The Strangeness

"Don't let the world become familiar —
don't forget the sheer strangeness of being alive.

"Don't forget the sheer strangeness of being here
on the surface of this spinning globe
standing in its soft dark soil, immersed in atmospheric gases,
with the blue-tinted sky above, full of foaming crystal masses,
turning to face a burning golden ball
that caresses us with heat and light
until the blue fades to black as it opens up
to the vast empty fullness of the universe.

"Don't forget the sheer strangeness of being this body
that breathes and blinks and heals and grows
a miracle of precision and complexity
a city of ceaseless traffic and industry
where a million microscopic processes intertwine
and millions of tiny organisms labor
for the greater good of you
just to keep you conscious and alive.

"Don't forget the strangeness of seeming to be a ghostly self
that lives inside your body, that has attached itself to your form,
that seems to stare out from your eyes
and can spin webs of logic, create alternate abstract worlds,
and turn into itself and expand into
endless spacious consciousness.

"Don't forget the sheer strangeness of this world of form
where matter pulses with consciousness
and shimmers with waves of light
into infinite expressions and variations
of the same rich source, the same elemental theme,
the same essential sound in different frequencies
this roaring teeming swell of life
the brightness and shining nakedness of now
and awe-inspiring is-ness of the nameless real.

"A strangeness even stranger
because it's not hostile or indifferent
but right and reassuring, somehow warm and welcoming,
like a chaos that was always planned
a riddle that makes perfect sense
a cacophony of meaning, full of hidden harmony —
glorious harmonious strangeness."