There is an old and wise saying,
Take only what you need
and use everything you take.
We often consider the first part,
or at least make occasional stabs at simplicity,
but the last part is less frequently said
or thought about
as essential to healthy vulnerability.
If we don’t use everything we take
and have been given by others,
then we can be sure
we have been given, and perhaps taken,
more than we need.
Taking only what we need
sounds obvious and transparently ethical,
perhaps even aesthetic
in purity of harmonic intent,
yet more mysterious
when we remember
that life itself,
and human life even evolving more so,
is lived in margins,
seasons of growth and decay.
Earth’s marginal soul
is living soil and water,
surface wind and fire storms
and swells and ebbs.
RNA and DNA regenerate
on and within this thin biosystemic sphere
and dead bedrock.
Life, as contrasted to not-life,
is a marginally placed process
of learning to take only what Earth offers
and gratefully using everything as cooperative gift.
Life derives from prehistoric photosynthesis
on Earth’s evolving and devolving synthesis
and revolving skin.
And our senses, all five,
each take what we need of this synthesis
to LeftBrain adapt
and RightBrain adopt
what our thin margin offers us
of and for a healthy simplicity
yet wealthy diversity
of synthesizing double-boundaried life through death.
Humane life is evolutionary
within Earth’s marginal organic boundaries
as we choose to use everything
our RNA and DNA Elders
have gracefully and phylogenically offered us
to swim and walk and fly
within Earth’s bountiful health boundaries.
Humanity defines what Earth has given
as marginally sufficient diversity
and is uniquely poised on a constant multicultural edge
to fully delineate,
know polypathic gratitude
for this polyphonic boundary grace,
to deeply digest
and warmly decompose
every sensory gift of Earth
we take in
through this vulnerable ride
between natural birth
and spiritual revolution,
Taking only what marginal wealth
and using every double-boundaried health
we gratefully receive.