Thursday, September 22, 2011

remembering how lucky we are to be here right now...

our dear friend emily read a modified excerpt from the book of awesome during our wedding.  it was, and she was, truly awesome!

So let's stop for a second and pull back. Let's pull way, way, way, way back. You used to be a sperm. Now don't get self-conscious. We all used to be sperm. And you were so cute back then too, with your little tail wagging all over the place and your love of swimming. Boy, could you swim. In fact, if you hadn't out swum your siblings, you might be a slightly different version of yourself right now. Maybe you'd have a higher-pitched laugh, hairier arms, or stand two inches shorter. You had a great life as a sperm but always felt incomplete. The truth is you weren't whole until you met an egg. And then you two began a nine-month project to make a cool new version of you. It took awhile but you grew arms, legs, eyeballs, and lungs. You grew nerves and nails and ear-drums and tongues. For a sperm to meet an egg it means your parents met. But it's not just them. Think about how many people had to meet, fall in love, and make love for you to be here. Here's the answer: a lot. Like a lot a lot. 
Before they had you, none of your ancestors drowned in a pond, got strangled by a python, or skied into a tree. None of your ancestors choked on a peach pit, was trampled by buffalo, or got their tie stuck in an assembly line. None of your ancestors was a virgin. You are the most modern, brightest spark of years and years and years of survivors who all had to meet each other in order to eventually make you.
Your nineteenth-century Grandma met your nineteenth-century Grandpa down at the candle-making shoppe. She liked his muttonchops and he thought she looked cute churning butter. Your Ice Age Grandpa crossing the Bering Bridge in a woolly mammoth fur met your Ice Age Grandma dragging a club in the opposite direction. He liked her saber-toothed necklace and she dug his unibrow. 
Your ancient rainforest Grandma was picking berries naked in the bush while your ancient rainforest Grandpa was spearing dodos for dinner. She liked his jungle funk and he liked her cave drawings. If it wasn't for the picnic they had afterward, maybe you wouldn't be here. You're pretty lucky all those people met, fell in love, made love, had babies, and raised them into other people who did it all over again. This happened over and over and over again for you to be here. Look around…right now. You are surrounded by lucky people. They are all the result of long lines of survivors. So you're a survivor too. You're the latest and greatest. You're the top of the line. You're the very best nature has to offer….a lot had to happen for all your strong, fiery ancestors to met each other and fall in love over and over again for hundreds of thousands of years. 
So let's stop for a second and pull back again. Let's pull way, way, way, way back. 
We are the only species on the only life-giving rock capable of love, magic, architecture, agriculture, airplanes, guitar jams at concerts, books, wedding brides, naps, bubble wrap, and the warm air inside a bakery. We’ve got all that. But people, listen up. [If we are lucky] we only get a hundred years to enjoy it. I'm sorry but it's true. Every single person you know will be dead in a hundred years--the foreman at your plant, the cashiers at your grocery store, every teacher you've ever had, anyone you've ever woken up beside, all the kids on your street, every baby you've ever held, every bride who's walked down the aisle, every telemarketer who's called you at dinner, every politician in every country, every actor in every movie, everyone who's cut you off on the highway, everyone [here] right now, everyone you love, and you. You will never be as young as you are right now. Life is so great that we only get a tiny moment to enjoy everything we see. And that moment is counting down. And that moment is always, always fleeting. And that moment is right now. 

we went with something a little different, but that felt very us.  i can barely read it or hear it without crying, but when i get to the end i feel big and small, infinite and like a speck of dirt, a little bit scared and entirely inspired.  


  1. I remember reading this when you sent it to me and it is incredibly sad but also uplifting to think how amazing it all is.


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