The Art of Derek Dohren
What I am about to tell I do so in a form you can understand. You will see me in printed words in a book or on a screen. Words that you can read. If it makes sense to you then maybe you can see me not just as I am but as I was, and perhaps even begin to glimpse at what I may become.
I am four and a half billion years old. I am Earth. I am gathered and shaped from stardust. I am hewn and cleft by cosmic forces. Interstellar winds hammer at my being and my pulsing core drives me. What you see of me now wasn’t always so and what I shall become you cannot imagine. I am stardust in an expanding universe. Stardust. Like everything else. I am the same as all and as unlike anything else.
I am Earth. Made like everything else from atoms. From stardust. But I am also wholly unique. There is nothing the same as me in all the billions and billions of galaxies in the whole universe. I was seeded with what you familiarly call life shortly after my creation. How this happened I have no desire to go into right now. It’s not that I couldn’t tell you, just that it is an unimportant matter. What is more pressing is that you revise your ideas of what it is you call life.
You waste so much of your time in your consideration of life. You look hard. In the wrong places. You work tirelessly. For nothing. You cannot live for fear of the one thing that is inevitable. Your own death. The recycling of your body into atoms. Into stardust. You see it yet you are blind. You know it yet you deny it. You feel it yet are numb to it. You fight yet you lose. Always. And yet if you knew what you really should you would have no fears. If you looked in the right places you may not be blinded. If you put down your weapons you may win your war.
What you see of me now wasn’t always so and what I shall become you cannot imagine. The path to your own being was seeded in me shortly after my creation. I am telling you this in a manner you can understand but you may not be sufficiently tuned in to comprehend all of it. Others will. It is of no consequence of course. I do not tell you these things so that you may change the way of matters. That would be unrealistic of me. I tell you so that you may understand before it is too late and because your deepest desire is to know.
I told you I was seeded with life shortly after my creation but the burgeoning of this life happened many times over. Time after time all life was wiped out by meteor strikes. It was banished by volcanic eruptions of molten lava and it was rent apart by huge tectonic destruction. You wouldn’t know what I was like back then. You wouldn’t have recognised me. What you call life was not sustained for much longer than a few thousand, perhaps at best a million years.
Tiny atomic creatures. They were the first of your line. Complex carbon based strings of protein and amino acids I think you would call them. Living creatures! I was able to nurture them for millions of years. They became part of me. They were of me and slowly they began to change me. Do not think I cared for this. Do not think I didn’t care. It was the way of things, for we are all stardust and we are the same as all and as unlike anything else.
The great collision rent a stillborn sibling from my guts. I could not let her go. Now she dances in faithful orbit around us all. She lights the night sky and drags oceans across my body. And we dance and spin together around our parent star. We are all made from stardust and we spin and flail together. Her lifeless body gives life to mine. I do not care for this but nor do I object. I am indifferent. It is the way of things.
In my boiling waters and my volcanic flumes and in my bubbling gases and flowing mud you came again. Life. Ceded from stardust the same as all but unlike anything anywhere. I nurtured your ancestry from vent and pool to water and land. You flew in my atmosphere and we changed it togther. We grew together. We entwined. Life and stardust, rock and protein, water and carbon. Life and death. Evolution and extinction. Cutting and pasting. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Are you seeing it better now? You are me. I am you. We are the same but we are not alike. We are all stardust but we have changed. And you look but you do not see. And you fight yet you lose.
I am Earth and I dance with the moon and I dance with the sun and the stars. I am nothing and I am everything.
If you put down your weapons you may win your war.
currently in the gallery ...
A selection of my paintings and photography
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