Never Alone!

Posted: April 24, 2019 in family
Tags: , , , , ,

She couldn’t get out. It’s her problem with balance, and coordination. She’s a bit topplely — so I did, got out.

“What do you want on it?” I asked her, but I pretty much knew. I mean she’s my daughter.

And sure enough, while I was out, wandering the huge, towering, concrete ballpark corridors  looking for hotdogs, they smacked a homer. They always do that. When you aren’t looking, that is when it usually goes down — or up.

But on the way back in — stepping over a whole row of people watching the game — I felt like a really good dad, handing her a bunned, mustardy, catsupy, oniony hotdog. She happily woofed it down.

You feed your babies, even after they grow up, because they are still a part of you, as you are a part of them and as we are all a part of all of us.

Identity is plural. It’s multiple. It’s freakin’ co-developed. My daughter and I are inextricably bonded together. Feed her? I even share my gut bacteria with her. Research now shows us that communities of microorganisms found in the intestines of genetically related people are more similar than those of people not related.

In Ed Yong’s fascinating new book, I Contain Multitudes, he writes, “Every one of us is a zoo in our own right – a colony enclosed within a single body. A multi-species collective. An entire world.” He is talking about microbes. Apparently, about half of me and you, isn’t even human. We are microbial! We are thoroughly symbiotic. Going on, Yong concludes, “Perhaps it is less that I contain multitudes and more that I am multitudes. Microbes subvert our notions of individuality.”

I’m down with this. I’m dependent. We all are. My experiences are shared. All life is shared. I am not simply an individual. It happened when I wasn’t looking.

When I travel to Nicaragua a few years ago, a friend led the trip. I would have been lost without her. She arranged for the multiple planes, the panga boats to take us up the river, arranged for our hosts to prepare our dinners, provided the money for them to do that and set up the work for the community center we built. And by the way, I did pick up some new microbes in Nicaragua — and brought them home. Life is shared.

In a week, I will be going up to see my 91 year old dad — in Los Angeles — to take him to the doctor, to check on the strength of his broken leg. I see in him myself, and in him I see my future. He is me; I am him; we are living parallel lives; I am aging — just one step behind him. He is another of my guides — my gut family — blazing the way into the future.

I like it. I am not alone. We are not alone. It is actually impossible to be alone. Our family is always with us, needing us, inside of us, going before us, following us. My dad leads, I follow, my daughters follow me.

Here is an often ignored reality. We contain, create, shelter, remember, carry and shelter a multitude! I exist in a biome. Individuality — be subverted!


It is as God intended — that we all be one! We are in Him, and in each other, always guided, co-developing, always following, always leading, ever symbionts, ever dependents, the divine zoo, always caring for someone, always being cared for —  never alone!

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