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Monday Morning Quotes

The Monday Morning Quotes began in 1998; first thing each week I sent a quote to a small group of friends and allies as an inspiration for thought or even dialogue. Sometime in 1999, as the list of recipients grew, I started adding my own thoughts. By 2001, there were hundreds of people receiving the quote and my reflections each week. I will continue to add to the archive here from both directions-–newest ones and older ones. Dialogue is still welcome . . .

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Quote #629 - From a Distance #FromaDistance

28 Jul, 2014

"That's what you do--the human race--make sense out of chaos. . . . This whole process is beautiful, but only if it's being observed."

Russell T. Davies
"Doctor Who: The Runaway Bride"


"Life is not found in atoms or molecules or genes as such, but in organization; not in symbiosis, but in synthesis."

Edwin Grant Conklin



The Doctor was looking at the solar system forming the planet Earth with his not-yet-traveling-companion Donna when he made this observation. Billions of particles, large and small, seemed to float randomly in the darkness until a strong, charismatic few drew all the others to those dancing closest, and planets began to form.

Watching all those dancing rocks begin to coalesce and become something extraordinary like our Earth made me think about inventions, and countries, and artistic endeavors, and all that can be accomplished when things come together.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

And only from a distance, with some perspective, is it possible to get any real sense of how magnificent it is, and, also, what can be done with it.

Stepping back, looking, sharing, translating it into different languages of the verbal (conversation, essays, letters, poetry, song, theatre) and non-verbal (music, dance, art in all its forms)--these are as much how we try to make sense out of the chaos as the structures we impose like calendars, and rituals, and religions, and societies.

And one of the essential values of stepping back and observing--and translating it into different mediums--is some degree of greater understanding, even if it's just understanding that there are so many perspectives and layers and possible expressions of it that it can never be fully understood. That alone keeps us from black and white thinking, from believing there is absolute right and wrong, from jingoism and fundamentalism and all those incredibly polarizing views that are tearing our poor Earth apart right now.

We need distance. We need perspective.

We need The Doctor.


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