Saturday, November 14, 2009

* The Eye of the Ear: Lordship of the Genetic Code

The Peabody Museum, New Haven, Connecticut (Yale University)

The Planned Parenhood Office three blocks from the Peabody was the scene of 24/7/365
Rosary recitation vigils.

The blogger on his deck in the Green Mountains, 2008.

Music critic Jurgen Kesting refers to "the eye of the ear". Anyone who has ever listened to a radio program and fleshed it out in imagination knows exactly what Kesting is talking about; the ear sees.

For Helen Keller it was: the fingers see (and hear).

I am reminded of this reality of the senses poignantly this autumn on my mountainside home in Vermont as the radiant sheaves of gold and bronze and crimson flutter to the ground. My neieghbor, a pleasant man in his early sixties, who has waved to me on my way to work every day for 18 years, has lost the sight in both his eyes from diabetes: First, one eye a year ago, and now the second.

As I watch his devoted wife lead him from the car to house on our quite steep mountain road, I am suddenly grateful for this miracle of vision.

It has begun to astound me at my ripe age, that a perfect human being can be reproduced in only nine months and sometimes with relative ease. I took this miracle of human reproduction for granted for fifty years until the genetic code was cracked, and then I started to realize the astonishing complexity of that 9 months.

Even as a child, when I went to the Peabody Museum at Yale and saw the 9 - jar exhibit of zygote, embryo, fetus in formaldahye (one jar for each month of 9 month of pregnancy), I just thought somewhat simplistically: Yeah, it does grow a lot.

BTW:That Peabody exhibit was probably banished after Roe v. Wade for fear the Museum would be burned down. I can still recall the 24-hour/365 day Rosary protest vigil in front of the Planned Parenthood office three blocks away when Griswold v. Connecticut was being fought a decade before Roe.

The trillions and trillions of sub-atomic functions which must be performed by the lordship of the genetic code in that nine months are simply incomprehensible. They are one process for which the word miracle is neither trite nor overstatement.

Miracle-- and a living breathing one at that -- is what we are.

We are the eye of the ear; we are the gleaner of the galaxies.