Most of what we are is due to blind luck. Who our DNA donors were, where we were born. We’re all like trout fingerlings hauled in tanker trucks to the cold stream water running from the mountains to the sea. We’re dumped in the running water, slapped on the ass and told, “There, now go find the ocean.”
We get our hair color and complexions from the primordial soup of couplings beyond counting back thousands and thousands of years. Sex. All the way to Africa. That nose? You’re third great-great grandfather had that nose—not that anyone remembers now, of course. Except you’re carrying it around like a fleshy legacy of an anonymous donor. And you don’t know that he pointed that nose north, into Indian country, and followed it to some good land in the Ohio Territory. He built a cabin and planted corn, and raised 8 children out of 12 that were born. He got that nose from a great-grandmother, a woman who’s ancestors had once lived in castles and worn silk, until some damned fool backed the wrong duke or earl and lost it all.
And then her grandfather listened to a preacher who said all that finery was an illusion, that God was calling down a different path. He listened. He thought. He looked around and saw that all was not right with the affairs of man, and stepped out onto that path. Everything changed after that. Except for the nose.
The world is full of people who claim to have the final answers, and will kill you if you disagree.
But life is an irony, and a glorious river of possibilities, like the stars of the Milky Way marching across the night sky. It’s all blind luck. An accident of birth puts each of us in a specific place and time, with a unique mixture of enzymes and proteins and potentials. Any of us could just as easily been born a Hindu or Apache, a pauper or a king; the mother of nations or a servant girl. A Chinese peasant in 640 BC. or Alexander the Flippin’ Great. But we weren’t. We were born us. All the same. All different.
The randomness bothers some people. And it should. Because underneath it all is a vast, unplanned future. That’s scary. We’re just poor little fish dumped into a cold stream, learning as we go, trying to follow our noses back to the oceans of our beginnings.
If you want to explore more strangeness: https://hemmingplay.com/2015/11/02/the-egg