The theory that the entire evolution of life on earth to the present is reenacted by all beings during their gestation from the first cell division after conception to the emergence of their modern form from womb or shell I’ve heard bandied about in many contexts. I have to admit such comparisons are quite plausible throughout the wide variety and scale of life forms covering the surface of this being of which we are all cells, Gaia, Pachamama, Mother Earth.
Like any theory that keeps kicking around in my ponderings it has given rise to tangential extensions into nearly as many contexts. The earliest of which concerns the idea that, given that extremely abbreviated experience of earthly evolution to the present in gestation, the period of a modern human’s life from the first perception of sunlight to the last appears to be a reenactment of the continuing social evolution of mankind from the first opposable thumbs to finding fulfillment living out their lives in cubic, air-conditioned isolation chambers viewing the natural world from which they arose as an enemy to be conquered and exploited by pushing buttons with stubby little fingers to make that now alien, civilized world better, more heedlessness of the harm done to the planetary health none can survive without.
Lest I get carried away into my old crackpot notions and forget the latest idea that made me abandon my sunrise vigil and drove my stubby little fingers here to the keyboard once more; it occurs to me that, having come to an understanding of the paragraph above, I have been slowly but surely returning to the preverbal existence of early man by my age alone. Over years of abuse, from screaming jet engines to southern sheriff’s saps, my ears now seem only to hear vowels and tunes, with consonants and lyrics quite indistinguishable. My eyes seem only to see landscapes and geometric shapes in the foreground, with leaves and letters on those shapes quite indistinguishable. I may not pick out your train of words, but through the dance of your body English and tune of your voice I can follow your train of thought as a metaphor with interchangeable variables. I may not be able to see your facial features at a hundred yards, but if I know you, I will recognize your walk and mood.
When I couldn’t read the blackboard from the back of the 6th grade classroom my vision was suddenly made more particularly articulate by being fit for glasses. I slowly began to rely on the written signs all around me and ignore the reality going on all around them. The authority of the written word, from “Keep off the Grass” to “Top Secret”, became sacrosanct; immune to any experience in the contrary. I became an avid reader in search of ethical heroes and scientific discoveries to challenge and/or enlarge my own heroic theories and burgeoning desire for the reward of fame and fortune in those books or imagined of their authors.
When I moved out of the city to the Dawgranch, I stopped wearing my glasses because there seems to be nothing so specific needing to be seen as is found in the traffic of speeding cars and urgent signs of the city. At the pace of nature everything is as articulate as their proximity requires my attention without fear of damage or delay. The once hawkeyed sharp particulars in the distance have returned to being part of the natural landscape I‘d learned to ignore.
When the cubical dwellers visit me I know when to celebrate, sympathize with or object to anything they say by how they dance and sing, no matter what the song and dance may be about.