by Greg Nachazel, 04/18/2020, Traverse City, MI

Adult Category

White caps in high boiling rows slam south, sloshing flotsam and jetsam onto our Clinch Park Beach. Even here, we all keep our social distance, from, mostly what?

Lynn Margulis wrote a fascinating book in 1999 and published it on April 13th. Today is its anniversary. The title of the book is Symbiotic Planet. Lynn married Carl Sagan when she was a teenager. He was macro and she was micro….it wouldn’t last. She brilliantly reveals what Darwin missed in his book, The Origin of the Species. Lynn actually wrote the biological origin. I admire the book. Here we are now living in the time of coronavirus. Lynn pointed out that 1 and a half billion years ago the atmosphere was virtually pure oxygen and that’s pure poison, if that’s all there is.
Three unique bacteria barely evolved.
Each had a gift unique to them. These three bacteria were anxious to survive and collaborated on all manner of microscopic little projects of life. They were symbiotic. They were different from each other and living together in contact with each other. Evolution and a billion and half years later the crisis of survival continues. Any species choosing to survive must adapt to an ever-changing environment. Over the past weeks we can detect people, like ourselves, people we share the world with engaged in whatever it is they must do today. Some have masks on, some do not and don’t know where to find them, some people have them and are not sharing them. There is intelligence being shared through human forms of communication. Can it be trusted for veracity? Is the actual content in service to an ideology? Our species has ideologies designed to empower one group over another. It’s hard to tell what the real threats are right now on April 13th 2020. Biology informs us that we are well organized organisms, with a great deal of advantages over other life forms on the surface of this world. I’m not sure that is true anymore. Walking down Front Street with this howling wind, a vicious forbidding snow laden westerly wind, it becomes easier to imagine the empty world billions of years ago. Even bacteria were looking for resources they could trust billions of years ago. Truth is a microscopic virus is a threat to and can even kill a nice little bacteria. Bacteria is essential to life.

Darwin’s Natural Selection Theory may ultimately prove what survives in this world. It’s true right here and now. I see a person driving with its head bent down, perhaps texting as they run the red light at Union Street…that is natural selection too.

There goes a young couple arm in arm shielding their faces from the cold windstorm. Maybe they have a chance? We are trying to be symbiotic, but some of our own species desire to destroy us much worse than any virus could.

Gregory Nachazel
Fine Artist
04 13 2020