Footprint

Does it ever happen to you that you become aware of your footprint?

I don’t mean carbon. I mean something more like your fundamental presence in the universe. The dent you make in space-time. The space you take up, the heat you create, the resources you’ve consumed on your way to the point you’re at when you realize it.

But I don’t mean just physics, either. I mean a sudden awareness of your metaphysical being, too. The networks in which you are a node or an edge. Relationships. Others whom you’ve influenced, and been influenced by. The change you have created and absorbed.

Like you can be driving along and just suddenly have this moment of, damn, I am part of all of this and it’s all part of me. In an instant, you become aware of your ass in the seat and remember the heart you broke in 1983. You think of the pig who died for your breakfast and see the heat rising off the hood of the car. You consider the trajectories your children’s lives will take after you’re gone, and maybe their children’s, while considering the paths of ancestors who died long before you were born yet influenced the people who influenced you.

No, it’s not about being high. I’m too old for that shit.

It’s neither a pleasant nor unpleasant realization. It’s not the weepy, in-the-moment blissing out that Echkart Tolle sells, nor is it some metallic, burdensome “I am just dirt” nihilism. It’s just a gripping, consuming, possibly lasting-for-several-minutes feeling of connectedness and connecting. It’s organic and fleeting, ephemeral, but it does leave a slight hangover, a borderline unpleasant taste in the mouth.

You became aware of your hereness for a little while and you’re not sure whether you’re a net positive or negative in hundreds of dimensions, but you’re damn sure you moved the needle.

Does it ever happen to you?